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COVID-19 Forces Cancelation Of Eagle River’s Cranberry Fest

Cranberry Fest

For the first time since 1980, Eagle River will not host its popular Cranberry Fest this year.

Executive Director of the Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce, Kim Emerson, says health concerns related to COVID-19 forced the cancelation...

"The ability to hold the event safely, not only for the participants but for our volunteers and community as a whole. Some of the requirements being handed down through the CDC guidelines on mass gatherings we were unable to be able to accomplish a lot of what was needed..."

Emerson says they looked at a number of options, but couldn't see a clear path...

"We looked at spacing the entire event out. We looked at the things we could do and couldn't do. By the time we finished evaluating all the pros and cons, we were basically taking away from the big picture of what the event was all about..."

Emerson says the decision to cancel this year’s event was incredibly difficult.

The festival is held in early October and draws about 40,000 visitors. Around 10,000 pounds of cranberries are sold each year.

She says In lieu of an official event, they encourage visitors to still take part in cranberry-related activities this fall that help support our local businesses.

Other events in Eagle River still going on include Paul Bunyan Fest on August 19, the Labor Day Arts & Crafts, SepTimber Ride on September 12 and the Eagle in One Golf Outing on September 18.

Ben worked as the Special Topics Correspondent at WXPR from September 2019 until November 2021. He now contributes occasionally to WXPR. During his full-time employment, his main focus was reporting on environment and natural resources issues in northern Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula as part of The Stream, a weekly series.
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