(ATCHISON, Ks.) The Amelia Earhart Festival is canceled for a second summer in a row.
The festival committee announced March 10 in a news release that the festival will not take place due to the uncertainty of the ongoing pandemic:
"In light of the continuing threat of COVID-19 virus and variants, it is with regret that the committee has cancelled this year’s Amelia Earhart Festival scheduled for July 16 & 17. The safety and well-being of volunteers and all who would attend are the highest priority. Even with the added vaccine, herd immunity is not expected before the end of summer or early fall and there remains substantial uncertainty that holding large scale events such as concerts, carnivals, and fireworks shows, which the Amelia Earhart festival is known for, would be permitted or advisable by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and/or Atchison County this summer."
The festival committee coordinator commented this may seem like an early call to the public eye as last year's decision was made in late April, but the timing of the decision to cancel had to be made at this time.
"We were farther along in the process because so many things had already been done that we would be doing right now," said festival coordinator Jacque Pregont. "Those early March things were already done last year when all this happened, and this year, instead of doing those and putting ourselves out there, we just decided the timing was right."
Another factor that played into the cancellation of the festival is money. Pregont said each year, the committee hardly breaks even, and if they were to host a condensed down version of the festival, it would simply not be worth it.
The Amelia Earhart Festival committee is deeply saddened to make this difficult announcement for the second year in a row, but is looking full steam ahead to a successful festival in 2022.