Photo from bemidjidragonboat.com
The 2020 Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival has officially been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a release, all teams registration fees that have already been paid will be refunded in full.
The organizers, according to a release, say the decision, made eight weeks ahead of the event, was a difficult one and thanks the many sponsors and volunteers for their support.
“We kept hope that we would be able to hold the festival but with social distancing guidelines expected to still be in place at the time of our event which is now just eight weeks away, it is time to make the difficult decision to cancel for this year so all involved can be notified well in advance” said Scott Turn, Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival Co-Chair.
“The festival has become one of the summer traditions in the region and it’s been a family tradition for many including me personally. Both my daughters have grown up with Dragon Boats every summer. It’s sad it won’t be possible this year but we’ll regroup and look forward to bringing the event back in 2021” added Brian Bissonette, Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival Planning Committee Member and Festival Announcer.
“The Bemidji Rotary and Bemidji Chamber want to thank all of our sponsors and volunteers for all of their support of the festival. This is truly a community event that raises money for many great organizations who make our community a better place to live and work. Our organizations will continue to help those in need impacted by the pandemic as much as we can but we will miss not being together the first weekend of August like we have for so many years!” added Abby Randall, Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director.
“While we’re disappointed not to be able to continue our Taco Fest tradition this year, we are supportive of this decision and believe it’s in the best interest of our community. Even though we won’t be able to gather this year, the need for strong local health care is greater than ever before, and we hope our community continues to show their support in the months to come.” said Cynthia Rooney-Olson, Executive Director, Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota Foundation.
The 2021 Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival will be held August 4-7, 2021.