May 19, 2020 - 11:15 am - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — The COVID-19 pandemic has caused another annual summer tradition to be cancelled.

Village Northwest Unlimited announced Tuesday morning that their annual Independence Day Celebration is being cancelled for this year. Barry Whitsell is Village Northwest CEO.

(As above) “Yeah you know it’s really a tough decision that we had to make, but with the uncertainty of the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic into the summer months and just the need to protect our residents, who are some of the most vulnerable people in terms of their health condition, to host an event the size of the July third Independence Day Celebration here at the Village, we just did not feel that it would be safe.”

Whitsell says Village officials felt it too great a risk to their residents, as well as staff and the thousands of people who attend each year.

(As above) “Given the size of the crowds that come out, we can’t practice social distancing, we have a vulnerable population that we serve on our campus,  right now our campus is closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, to host this event, and have it come on our campus, just did not seem responsible. It seems like it would be putting the health of our individuals served at risk, the health of our frontline caretakers at risk, and then just the general overall population of northwest Iowa would be at risk.”

As a result, he says they decided it was in everyone’s best interest to cancel this year’s event.

(As above) “We didn’t want people to come on our campus and, say somebody is COVID positive, and suddenly as they do the social tracing you have thousands of people that have been exposed to one person because they attended our event. So we made the unfortunate decision that it would be in the best interests of all parties to cancel it for this particular year.”

Whitsell says that, with the cancellation of this year’s Village Northwest Unlimited Independence Day Celebration, Village staff are turning toward preparing for next year’s event.

(As above) “We’ll be looking forward to hosting the 2021 event. Our committee will already start planning the event for next year. We’ll take the fireworks that we had purchased for this year and will put them in storage with our vendor until next year, and so will have as big a fireworks next year as we were planning to have this year. And hopefully we can have some events to make next year’s event that much more special since we had to cancel the 2020 event.”

The annual Village Northwest Unlimited Independence Day Celebration draws several thousand people from northwest Iowa, southwest Minnesota and southeast South Dakota to the Village Campus each year, and is the Village’s way of saying “thank you” to the area community for their support throughout the year.



Original post 11:15 am, 5/19/2020

Sheldon, Iowa — Village Northwest Unlimited in Sheldon has announced that their annual Independence Day Celebration, which was scheduled for July 3rd, has been cancelled for this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a release from Village Northwest, the decision to cancel this year’s celebration rose from a concern about the safety of the Village residents, staff, and thousands of visitors that flock to the Village Grounds for the annual celebration, in the face of the pandemic.

Ryan Haack is Director of Development at Village Northwest Unlimited, and he says the cancellation is a tremendous disappointment to the Village residents and staff who look forward to hosting the event each year. He says many hours of preparation have already gone into the planning of this year’s event, but he says they’ll now turn their focus toward making next year’s event even better.

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