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Municipalities cancel, tweak summer events to enforce social distancing

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article has been updated with new information pertaining to the 2020 Dardenne Prairie Summer Concert & Food Truck Rally.

At the St. Charles County Council meeting held on April 27, County Executive Steve Ehlmann announced that St. Charles County would follow the state’s plan to reopen on May 4. The decision followed an announcement by Gov. Mike Parson of a new statewide recovery plan called Show Me Strong Recovery.

The plan states residents are allowed to return to frequenting business and participating in social activities as long as social distancing guidelines are followed.

While the goal of the plan is to help jumpstart local economic recovery, according to Ehlmann, the Department of Public Health will continue contact tracing and quarantining those who test positive for COVID-19.

“We will continue to do everything in our power to make sure that, if St. Charles County residents decide to patronize a business, they are able to do so as safely as possible,” Ehlmann said. “As we re-open, it becomes even more important that every jurisdiction in the region be equally effective with its contact tracing.” 

The Show Me Strong Recovery Plan, which spans from May 4 -31, is made of up four pillars that were created allow residents to gradually return to normal life while simultaneously quarantining and providing adequate treatment for infected individuals.

The recovery plan calls for an extended testing capacity statewide, increasing the reserves of personal protective equipment by opening public and private supply chains, monitoring and/or expanding hospital and health care system capacity, including isolation and alternate care facilities for those that cannot self-quarantine at home and improve the ability to predict potential outbreaks using Missouri’s public health data.

During phase one, citizens can return to both economic and social activities as long as the mandated social distancing measures are still followed. This includes maintaining a minimum of six feet of space between individuals. There are no limitations on social gatherings so long as social distancing measures are followed.

Local jurisdictions can follow the recovery plan’s guidelines or hold residents to stricter rules, depending on the area. Many municipalities have already taken that stricter, more cautious approach. Especially in the anticipation of summer crowds.

Multiple municipalities have already taken steps to cancel, reschedule or reorganize their annual summer events or concerts to maximize social distancing efforts.

Dardenne Prairie Day 2020 is still scheduled for its normal event date this September. [Dardenne Prairie Facebook photo]

Dardenne Prairie

The 2020 Dardenne Prairie Summer Concert & Food Truck Rally is still scheduled to proceed as planned.

The concert series will begin as scheduled May 15 at 7 p.m. at City Hall Park, located at 2032 Hanley Road, with a performance by The Plastic Kings. Concerts normally take place on the third Friday of each month from May to August.

According to Parks & Recreation Coordinator Mathew DeWinters, the city’s annual Dardenne Prairie Days festival is still scheduled for its normal Sept. 12 at City Hall Park. The event is free to attend and will feature live music by The Plastic Kings. Other planned activities for the day include craft vendors and local business booths. Children’s activities include inflatables, face painting, balloon artists and sideshow acts.

“As of now, it’s still scheduled and on our calendar,” DeWinters said.

However, DeWinters reminds individuals that some places are still closed in the interest of preserving public health. This includes the playground at City Hall Park.

However, other city trails and athletic fields remain open for use so long as social distancing measures are followed. Dardenne Prairie City Hall remains staffed and open, although social distancing mandates are being enforced.

For more information, visit www.dardenneprairie.org.

O’Fallon

The city of O’Fallon has officially canceled the 2020 Heritage & Freedom Fest and Parade. The annual event was originally scheduled to take place through July 2-4.

In an official release dated April 23, O’Fallon Mayor Bill Hennessy said, “Although staff has done everything in their power to plan this year’s event, we are at a point in the planning process where there are simply too many questions and not enough answers about where we will be come July.”

While the summer version of the festival is canceled, Hennessy announced that that city staff are currently working to develop an alternative event later this year. As of now, the goal is for that event to come together in time for fall of 2020.

“Our hope is that we’ll be able to have a special event sometime this fall that will give our residents an opportunity to come together and enjoy much of what they love about the Heritage and Freedom Fest,” Hennessy said. “There are a lot of variables to work through, and it obviously all depends on what we can safely do, but I hope that as we move into summer, we will be able to announce what could be Heritage and Freedom Fest 2.0 in fall 2020!”

However, other summertime series are still scheduled to run.

Specifically, the Prospect League announced on April 29 that its decision to reschedule the opening day for the O’Fallon Hoots would be changed from May 28 to July 1. The new date is still subject to any social gathering mandates that are put forth by government organizations and medical entities. The team’s home stadium is CarShield Field in O’Fallon.

“We are extremely hopeful this decision by the Prospect League Board of Directors can be met,” Prospect League Commissioner Dennis Bastien. “We understand each of our clubs may fall under different deadlines due to the aforementioned circumstances and we certainly will not open any of our ballparks if, in any way, the safety and health of any of our fans, players, ballpark workers, staff and umpires could be put in harm’s way, impacted or jeopardized by any potential effect of the coronavirus. That is our first and foremost priority.”

Hoots General Manager, David Schmoll, agreed.

“We look forward to the day when we can safely bring the Hoots to CarShield Field for the community to enjoy baseball again,” Schmoll said.

A revised schedule is currently being created for the upcoming season. For more information, visit ofallonhoots.com.

St. Charles City

In the interest of public safety as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be monitored by healthcare experts and local officials, the city of St. Charles officially announce that its annual Riverfest Celebration would be canceled for 2020.

While some events have been canceled, many evets have been postponed to event dates in the later part of summer or early fall.

The St. Charles Farmer’s Market, for example, is now scheduled for a delayed start date of May 23.

“Normally, it would start a little earlier than that,” Elizabeth Phelps, assistant director of the Greater Saint Charles Convention & Visitors Bureau, said.

The Beale Street Concert Series, which would have normally begun on May 13, has been officially postponed to June 10.

Due to immediate health and safety concerns, all the May concert dates for St. Charles’ Music on Main Series have been canceled. [Source: Discover St. Charles]

The Music on Main Concert Series, which was scheduled to begin May 20, has canceled its May concert date. However, there is discussion about the series picking up and continuing on June 17, which would be the next scheduled concert date in the line-up.

For an updated list of all events and business openings, visit discoverstcharles.com.

St. Peters

According to Lisa Bedian, director of communications for the city of St. Peters, the city’s annual Celebrate St. Peters event has been canceled for 2020.

However, when it came to bringing back the city’s Sunset Fridays Summer Concert Series, Bedian said the city decided to get creative after the flooding in 2019 made it impossible to host the series in its traditional location in 370 Lakeside Park.

“There are a lot of people that really look forward to the series and getting their summer weekend started on Friday night,” Bedian said.

For 2020, the city is rebranding the event as Sunset Fridays On The Road, named as such because concerts will be virtually available for individuals to watch at home or in their own backyards. The series will include 10 hour-long performances by local bands that were all recorded in the city’s own Cultural Arts Centre’s Performing Arts Theatre. The series begins at 6:30 p.m. May 15 with Wade Trent.

Wade Trent will kick off the virtual Sunset Fridays On The Road virtual concert series on May 15. [Source: City of St. Peters]

Shows will continue to debut on Friday nights at 6:30 p.m. until July 17.

Concerts can be viewed on SPTVNOW.net, Charter Spectrum Channel 992 or AT&T U-Verse Channel 99. The concerts can be streamed on television, phones, tablets and computers.

A complete schedule including artists available soon on www.stpetersmo.net.

“We’re encouraging people to order carry-out from one of our local restaurants as well and bring that dinner home to enjoy a concert right in your backyard,” Bedian said. “It’s a way for people to enjoy local music and local food. It’s a win-win.”

Bedian also told Mid Rivers Newsmagazine that many of the city’s facilities, such as the St. Peters Rec-Plex and City Hall, will remain closed until further notice.

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