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Heritage event canceled for 2020

Park site of other smaller events
Heritage event canceled for 2020 Heritage event canceled for 2020
Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]

Lanesville Heritage Weekend, a festival that consistently brings about 75,000 visitors to its grounds each year, has celebrated the farming heritage of Indiana and how the community has continually worked together to create a thriving town since 1976.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the committee for the event decided to cancel this year’s festival.

Kenny Acton, chairman of the Heritage committee, said he has seen the community uphold the values the festival celebrates throughout the midst of this trying time.

“Indiana is known for coming together for common goals,” Acton said. “While we won’t be able to see that at the festival this year, I can see it in the way this community has helped each other out during this pandemic. From helping someone out who is in need to sharing information with one another, everyone is doing what our festival celebrates in us all, working as one.”

The decision to cancel the festival, which was scheduled for Sept. 10 to 13, was not an easy one, according to Acton and co-chairmen of the festival, Ryan Lind and Bill Stewart. In fact, they all agreed it took numerous meetings to reach a consensus. Ultimately, it came down to too many uncertainties and unanswered questions regarding the chances of spikes in the number of COVID-19 cases and the changing guidelines for safety precautions.

“We have a lot of volunteers that work our festival who are older, and their safety was at the top of mind for us,” Stewart said.

“Our decision came down to the safety of all the attendees, staff and volunteers,” Lind echoed. “Controlling social distancing with that size of a crowd would be near impossible.”

Acton said their hope is to come back next year with the festival in full swing.

“We plan to do everything in our power to make the next Lanesville Heritage Weekend great and one to remember,” he said.

Even though the Heritage Weekend is canceled, Lanesville Heritage Park still plans to host small-scaled events throughout the rest of the year.

In June, the park hosted its first Hollywood at Heritage night during which time a movie was projected in the park and families were encouraged to bring blankets and chairs, socially distance themselves from others and enjoy the show. The park plans to host this event once a month through October. Popcorn and other concessions will be available for purchase.

The July showing will be Friday with a Christmas in July theme. The movie will be “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” and there will be an ugly Christmas T-shirt contest.

Hollywood at Heritage will also take place Aug. 21, Sept. 18 and Oct. 30. All Hollywood at Heritage events will begin at dusk.

Acton also mentioned a date will soon be set for when they will be thrashing the recently harvested wheat. He encouraged those interested in the process to keep an eye on the Lanesville Heritage Weekend Facebook page for more details.

Plans are also underway for A Heritage Christmas, a Christmas light production on Nov. 28, the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

“We wouldn’t be able to do any of these events, including the planning of Heritage Weekend, without an army of people,” Acton said. “We can’t thank the sponsors, workers, volunteers and every unsung hero who helps out with all of these events enough.”