For the first time in its history, the annual “Spring Fever Days” event in Emo has been cancelled this year due to health concerns and precautions set out amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ever-popular three-day event in the Rainy River District was slated for April 23-25.
“As we were starting to get ready to organize things, obviously this [pandemic] was just starting to unfold, we sent out an email questionnaire to all of our businesses asking what their opinions were on whether we should cancel or postpone,” said Emo Chamber of Commerce president Dave Goodman.
“The majority was that we should cancel, so that was pretty much it. At the time, there were so many unknowns, it was really just unfolding. There were so many unknowns that we felt that, in the interest of our customers and of our staff and employees of the businesses, that it would only make the most sense to cancel because it looked like very much at the time already that these closures and restrictions were going to go well into April, if not the end of April.”
Goodman noted that the event committee wasn't very far into the preparations for this year's event and he also doesn't feel the cancellation will have too much of a negative impact on the district's economy.
“I don't think that the economic impact directly from cancelling will long-term wise be negative,” he remarked.
"The reason I say that is because the Rainy River District, it supports the local economy so well that I think that the purchases and activities that are being postponed right now will eventually happen. It may not be until late to mid-summer, but I do expect that we won't see a huge change because of the cancelling of 'Spring Fever Days'.
“We've done the event for so many years that it doesn't take a lot planning. We were just in the initial stages of planning and getting our first meeting set-up,” Goodman noted.
Moving forward, Goodman said that the event committee would be taking a “wait-and-see" approach when it comes to planning next year's "Spring Fever Days”.
But he was also hopeful that the event would be able to run in its entirety at the same time in 2021.
“For next year we would definitely plan to be holding 'Spring Fever Days' on our usual dates in April,” he noted.
“All of the businesses [in Emo] are looking forward to seeing all of our customers once all of the [COVID-19] restrictions are lifted. We hope everyone is safe and healthy.”