Fremont County Pioneer Days. | Courtesy Pioneer Days, Inc.
ST. ANTHONY — Joining the list of canceled summer festivities because of COVID-19 is the annual Fremont County Pioneer Days celebration.
The event has been celebrated in the community for nearly a century, according to their website. Board Chairman Danny Elliott said the decision to call it off was made Friday. He believes this is the first time in its history the events have been canceled.
“It was with much despair and heartache that we had to do this,” Elliott told EastIdahoNews.com. “We’re just sick about it.”
The celebration was supposed to be held during the fourth week of July. The website said there was going to be a play, parade, rodeo, baseball tournament, 5K and 10K Fun Run, baked food sale, art exhibit and classic car and hot rod show.
They also planned to make the senior class of 2020 the grand marshals.
“We raised just enough money last year to where we could put it on the next year (2020),” he said. “If we spend money this year and then we have a second spout of COVID-19 that it gets bad so they shut everything down and we cancel it anyway, we’ve lost the money that we put into it, and now I can’t do it in 2021.”
The annual celebration is held thanks to the help of volunteers.
Elliott said the board has received negative feedback since making the announcement. That’s something that hasn’t been easy to handle because he said the board members give up their time so that the public can enjoy the event at no charge.
“We take two or three months off when it’s over in July and we start back again in November, planning,” Elliott said. “To hear those negative things, it is a dagger.”
Elliott said part of his job is to try and keep the community safe. He explained that they don’t want to take the chance of people lining the streets and sitting side by side with the possibility of spreading the virus.
“Believe me, I want life to get back to normal. I’m a business owner. I want to get back to normal, it needs to get back to normal,” he said. “But we can’t take the chance of someone getting sick.”
Elliott said they plan to hold the Fremont County Pioneer Days in 2021.