Like almost every city, La Crescent is no exception when it comes seeing its summertime events wiped out by COVID-19. And though this year’s event won’t be the same, the La Crescent Chamber of Commerce and Tourism pushed forward in planning its third-annual Block Party, which is Saturday in La Crescent.
According to chamber executive direction Eileen Krenz, planning started in February with little thought of changing much about it from successful 2018 and 2019 events. But as the coronavirus swept the country, it was clear things wouldn’t be the same.
“As other local festivals began to cancel due to COVID-19, we feared that it was a matter of time that ours would need to be canceled as well,” Krenz said. “We decided to wait until Gov. (Tim) Walz gave an update at the end of April before making our final decision.”
The first two years, the Block Party – which originally was a fundraiser for the La Crescent Area Event Center – included live music, children’s games, food and entertainment – all of which took place on Main Street and was supported with the help of the Lions Club, Rotary Club and Community Education.
Krenz knew that with other festivals going by the wayside, people would be looking for something to do this summer, so the committee chose to press ahead.
So on Saturday, the chamber will host a COVID-style event that encourages people to gather safely and responsibly in their own neighborhoods and tap several resources the chamber created to urge on the fun.
That includes a tab on its website, www.lacrescentmn.com, that includes family-friendly activities like a scavenger hunt, outdoor games and more.
Local restaurants are also part of the action, as they’ll be offering specials all day, and if group orders reach $50, food will be delivered by members of the chamber, with tips from those deliveries funding future Block Party events. More information about those specials can be found on the website.
Local talent Ryan Howe will give a live performance streamed on Facebook from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
The chamber knows it’s fortunate to have regular sponsors – those who themselves have felt the sting of the pandemic – who largely fund the event.
“The committee decided to have the alternate version of the Block Party to hopefully bring some sense of normalcy to our community, with all of the changes that we’ve experienced over the past four months,” Krenz said.
For more information, check out the chamber website or see its event page on Facebook.
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