Coronavirus has forced another cancelation: Centreville’s Covered Bridge Days.
Members of the Covered Bridge Days committee agreed Thursday the event will not be held in 2020. Vicki Allen, who chairs the committee, said all pros and cons were weighed and committee members weren’t willing to take the risk of keeping the two-day festival on the calendar.
“To be honest, it’s really a relief off my shoulders because in the back of my mind, I had this horrible, heavyweight thinking, ‘What if we went ahead with this and more cases were a result of us having people in close contact?’” Allen said. “And then there was the thought of everybody in the community and the news media coming up to me afterwards and asking, ‘Why did you decide to have Covered Bridge Days when everybody else was canceling or postponing theirs?’”
The community festival was to be July 17-18, and would have occurred the weekend following White Pigeon Days, which also has been canceled.
Allen said the Covered Bridge Days committee decided to partner with Centreville Downtown Development Authority to enhance “Christmas in Centreville” in December. Allen said the plan is in its infancy but the idea is to incorporate elements of Covered Bridge Days into the holiday celebration.
The St. Joseph County United Way’s “Yards, Barns and Brews” event had been moved from this weekend to July 17-18. Allen said she does not know if United Way plans to follow through with that plan.
Allen said vendors who already had committed to this year’s Covered Bridge Days will be refunded their deposit.
“Yes, it was a tough decision but, you know, we have to keep people healthy and not take the risk that someone might come down with something because they attended our festival,” she said. “It’s sad, it’s a blow to the community, but this just wasn’t the year to have Covered Bridge Days.”