There won't be a 23rd annual Gandy Dancer Days in Webster this year. "Masks, social distancing, sanitizing to the max -- those just aren't elements compatible with Gandy Dancer Days' fun, entertainment and activities, " said Bill Summer, Webster Area Chamber of Commerce. "It just isn't worth the risk to our elders, families, tourists, and seasonal residents." The annual three-day summer celebration is normally scheduled for the second weekend in August.
In addition to the COVID-19 safety precautions, Summer decided soliciting donations from local businesses and non-profit organizations just didn't seem the right thing to do, given the economic circumstances. Those donations and grants underwrite events like the bicycle rodeo, pony rides live music and other activities.
The cancellation also means no income generated for the Central Burnett County Fair Board, Webster's American Legion Otis Taylor Post 96 and the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 96, which is a hardship for those organizations.
It's really a loss all the way around, and we regret having to take this action," admitted Summer. "We really hope that either when the pandemic subsides or a vaccine is finally available to protect folks, we'll be able to plan on having a really big blast in August 2021 - so please understand, be patient and hang in there!"