One of the toughest decisions the Orem City Council had to make during Tuesday’s City Council meeting was to postpone the city’s annual Summerfest celebration scheduled for June 18-20.
It is the first of the numerous city celebrations to be postponed or canceled. City celebrations are a traditional part of summer in Utah County and typically begin right after Memorial Day and run through August.
“This decision isn’t taken lightly,” said Steven Downs, city spokesman. “Our City Council looks forward to gathering and connecting with residents at this event each year. They have tasked our Summerfest Committee to look carefully at the components of Summerfest and determine what events we could still hold at a later date.”
The hope is that some aspects of the event can be done later in the year such as the fireworks display, car show, carnival and other events on their own merits.
The city will be evaluating all of its Summerfest events to determine if and when those can be held later in summer or fall.
Downs said the decision was made, after some discussion, because the Summerfest celebration dates land in Phase 2 of the “Utah Leads Together” plan.
“That phase calls for social distancing to continue, but in a more targeted way: Group gatherings are only beginning to soften, high-risk populations are continuing to stay at home,” Downs said.
Downs said the city doesn’t know exactly when it might hold events, but will begin communicating about that information as soon as officials have more reliable information.
The special orders and reservation of tents, chairs, performers, etc. of Summerfest would need to be made now, according to Downs. Travel plans also would need to be made now for the carnival company, entertainment and other Summerfest participants.
At this juncture that is nearly an impossible judgment call.
“The Summerfest celebration is something that we look forward to each year. It is a wonderful time for families, neighbors and friends to gather and connect,” Downs said. “We look forward to being able to facilitate more of these events in the future, but for now the health of our public needs to be our No. 1 priority.”