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Montana Summer Events Cancelled As Concern Over Coronavirus Lingers

Lead singer Molly Rose from Underhill Rose on Saturday, July 30, 2016.
Mara Silvers
Montana Public Radio
Lead singer Molly Rose from Underhill Rose on Saturday, July 30, 2016.

Health concerns surrounding coronavirus pandemic and the gradual reopening of business and the return to normal has claimed more outdoor events.

Cascade County Commissioners voted unanimously May 19 to cancel the 2020 Montana State Fair in Great Falls.

The Great Falls Tribune reports the decision came during a special meeting held by video conference that was attended virtually by 164 people.

The commissioners cited concern over the spread of the coronavirus for cancelling the event that was scheduled for July 24 through August 1 at Great Falls’ ExpoPark. They were concerned whether Phase 3, which would allow large scale events like a fair, would even be in place in time for the fair.

The Montana State Fair averages between 8,000 to 9,000 fairgoers a day.

The cancellation comes on the same day Governor Steve Bullock announced Montana would enter into phase 2 of its reopening plan starting June 1.

Last week the Arts Council of Big Sky announced its 2020 concert series Music in the Mountains has been cancelled. The cancellation includes the annual Jul. 4 celebration and the classical music festival.

Tippet Rise Art Center also announced it was cancelling all concerts and sculpture tours this summer and would keep its trails temporarily closed.

These are the latest in a growing list of annual outdoor events that will not take place this summer over concern for the health and safety of performers, staff and the audience.

The Billings Symphony Orchestra and Chorale and the Yellowstone Art Museum cancelled their planned collaboration of Symphony in the Park and Summerfair set for late June in Billings Pioneer Park.

The Helena Symphony and Carroll College announced the annual Symphony Under the Stars scheduled for mid July at Carroll College will not take place this summer.

The Red Ants Pants Music Festival in White Sulphur Springs has been cancelled and has Montana Shakespeare in the Parks 2020 season.

Kay Erickson has been working in broadcasting in Billings for more than 20 years. She spent well over a decade as news assignment editor at KTVQ-TV before joining the staff at YPR. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University, with a degree in broadcast journalism. Shortly after graduation she worked in Great Falls where she was one of the first female sports anchor and reporter in Montana.