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Organizers say crowd sizes, like this from a pre-pandemic Cider Days, will be limited this year.
SBJ File
Organizers say crowd sizes, like this from a pre-pandemic Cider Days, will be limited this year.

Organizers: Cider Days to be held as planned

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With the countdown to the 2021 Cider Days festival now under a month, the Downtown Springfield Association has decided to proceed as planned Sept. 18-19 on Historic Walnut Street.

The decision comes in the wake of other community events postponed due to the pandemic, most recently the inaugural MidxMidwst art and culture festival, Ozarks Pridefest and the Birthplace of Route 66 Festival.

Cider Days was canceled in 2020.

“So many of our artists, crafters and other vendors have struggled as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the cancellation of many community events,” DSA Executive Director Rusty Worley said in a news release announcing the board decision. “This is an important time for the community to safely come together to support these artists and small businesses.”

Event organizers in May selected the September dates and they say the festival will be scaled down as a precaution against spreading COVID-19 and the surging delta variant. Cider Days historically draws 20,000 attendees, according to past Springfield Business Journal coverage.

In the release, organizers cited guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that outdoor gatherings pose less risk than indoor events. DSA officials also pointed to the outdoor Artsfest held in early May this year on Walnut Street and said they’d follow similar precautions:
• Tickets will be sold online in two entry flights: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 1-5 p.m.
• Capacity will be limited to 3,000 people per entry time.
• Guests will be encouraged to wear masks.
• Booths will be spaced 6 feet apart to encourage physical distancing.
• Hand sanitizing stations will be available, and Brokate Janitorial will provide a porter to clean high touch-point areas.

“The festival footprint on Historic Walnut Street will allow guests to space out safely while they shop, dine and enjoy music and dance performances,” organizers said in the release.

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