The summer festival season is right around the corner, but most of the events and activities that have become a source of summer fun have been put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Numerous local events that typically dot the summer activity calendar have been delayed or canceled altogether.
Leavenworth Main Street’s popular summer concert series, held once a month at Haymarket Square, is in doubt this year.
Wendy Scheidt, executive director of Leavenworth Main Street, said the organization was unable to hold its Alive After 5 events in April and May, as well as other activities such as the May City Market, the May Build a Bouquet event and the Spring Tea. Those have been postponed until October.
The Summer Concert Series event in June is still up in the air. Scheidt said "we are in uncharted territory."
Local bands are also impacted. Eric Gassen, band leader of Edge of Forever, a Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute band comprised of Leavenworth members, said his band had booked numerous concerts this summer and fall, but all of those events are up in the air right now.
"We lost our entire 2020 concert schedule due to this COVID-19 pandemic," Gassen said. "We caught the eye of a much more motivated talent agency and we were looking forward to this being our busiest season to date. We were setting up a national tour and had many back to back dates on the road under contract and a few local shows as well, including the annual benefit concert for our veterans, which we have held at Haymarket Square."
Gassen said he can’t discuss finances but said the pandemic will result in a "very substantial loss" of income for the band.
He said some bands are hoping for the best and booking concert appearances but that is "just a shot in the dark and a hope for the best scenario."
Gassen said that like all bands, Edge of Forever is "hoping this ends soon so we can get back to doing what we love to do. … and we really miss our fans."
Numerous festivals are held each summer and fall in many local and area cities, including Camp Leavenworth, a city-operated festival that was unveiled last year and was scheduled again this year for the third week in September.
Taylour Teddar, assistant city manager for the city of Leavenworth, said the city is monitoring the pandemic situation and will decide whether to hold the event.
Many youth groups and sports teams also will be impacted if the festivals are shut down.
Many of the groups hold fundraisers at the festivals to raise money for their organizations.
Several local groups and teams often work vendor booths at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival each year in the fall in Bonner Springs.
But that source of funding may now not be possible if the annual festival is postponed or canceled.
The Leavenworth Times sponsors several community events throughout year, but the newspaper has postponed the events due to the coronavirus.
The Life Expo for seniors was scheduled April 22 but was postponed to later this fall, possibly in October. This event provides a complimentary lunch, vendors/shopping and entertainment for area senior citizens.
The Faith and Family Festival was scheduled June 6 but it has been postponed to a later date.