Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

By Jana Mathia
Gazette Editor 

Why are some summer events already canceled?


COLFAX – The cancellation of the Perkins House Ice Cream Social, set for June 21, was announced April 20. Yet plans are still in the works for Colfax Crazy Days July 11. Why are the fates of two events so close together so different?

The answer has to do with the people behind the event and the planning that goes into it.

“You have to look behind the scenes,” said Colfax Unified Executive Director Val Gregory who is involved in the planning of both events. The big difference is there is a vast difference in the demographics and number of volunteers.

Planning for the Ice Cream Social begins in February. Gregory said it is very labor intensive with a lot of moving parts. There are things that need ordered and set up, advertising to go out, out-of-area vendors; this year they were planning to have the rail speeder as well.

And the majority of volunteers planning the event are seniors, which not only puts them in the risk for infection category, but makes it harder to employ technology such as Zoom for meetings. Gregory noted one of the volunteers lives in a rural area where she does not have wi-fi to meet via a digital platform.

Planning is impossible to do when you can’t meet face to face, it was not safe for the volunteers to do so, therefore the group made the decision to cancel the event this year.

“We had to decide (at that time) because we were about to send out the mailing,” Gregory said.

When it comes to Crazy Days, there are only two people planning it, neither in the high risk age bracket. The parts involved are simpler as well. Gregory lets the businesses know when the event is happening and they set up their own sidewalk sales. She is working with an in-county band for outdoor live music, but a beer garden will be skipped this year.

“I do think we can have a watered down version of Crazy Days,” Gregory said.

Depending on how things go, the event may move to September.

“We really don’t want to cancel,” she said.

If Crazy Days does have to be scrapped, it would not be a huge loss in time or money. Gregory said the chamber can cancel at the last minute and not take a big hit. That makes it easy for the chamber to hang on as long as possible before deciding to pull the plug – a luxury the Ice Cream Social did not have.

“It’s sad to see all these events not happening,” said Gregory.


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