Husker Harvest Days Cancels Show Amid COVID-19 Concerns

(Photo courtesy of Husker Harvest Days)
June 29, 2020 - 3:25pm

Organizers of Husker Harvest Days have cancelled the 2020 show after a nationwide spike in COVID-19 cases.

The decision comes just weeks before construction would have begun on exhibits for the show. In a normal year, Husker Harvest Days, which had been scheduled for mid-September, easily attracts 90,000 attendees from across the globe to Grand Island for harvest demonstrations and equipment exhibits.

The city was once Nebraska’s hardest hit coronavirus hotspot. 

But while the area’s outbreak has slowedthe Central District Health Department reported 14 positive tests last weekshow director Matt Jungermann says several vendors pulled out of the show after COVID-19 cases spiked nationally over the past two weeks. Volunteers also expressed increasing hesitations about the event. 

“Rather than put people at risk and put a product out there that wasn't going to represent the quality of Husker harvest days, we've made the decision before anybody started building tents, or investing a bunch of money into exhibits,” Jungermann said.

The announcement marks the event's first cancellation in its history since the show debuted in 1978.

"There are people that are that are upset, and there are people that are disappointed, but I don't think anybody is terribly surprised...nobody is shocked that that we've made the decision to not put people at risk in this way."

Organizers will move several demonstrations online, but it’s not clear yet what exhibits will go virtual. “We want to get input from our exhibitors and from the growers and our staff, and give everybody an option if we're going to recreate harvest days in a virtual way," he said.

Jungmann says details on virtual gatherings will be available in the next few weeks on the event’s website.



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