The venerable Stevensville Creamery Picnic has been added to the growing list of annual events cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.
At a well-advertised but lightly attended special meeting on Thursday, May 21, members of the Stevensville Civic Club voted unanimously to cancel this year’s Creamery Picnic celebration. The 108th Creamery Picnic was scheduled for July 31 and August 1, 2020.
Joan Prather, Civic Club President, issued the following statement: “As previously posted the Stevensville Civic Club announced a meeting to be held on Thursday, May 21st, Lewis and Clark Park at 6 pm regarding the 2020 Creamery Picnic event in light of the COVID 19 restrictions and recommendations.
“Please be advised that the result of the meeting was a unanimous vote to cancel the 2020 Creamery Picnic event.
“Further discussion of the upcoming 4th of July Pignic as well received a vote to cancel the Pignic for 2020.
“We visited with the Ravalli County Health Department, checked with CDC recommendations, the Governor’s phase II plan, and local government. After evaluations of our event, safety, attendance projections, age groups attending the event, and all of the unknown conditions that may develop, it was determined by the group of people attending the meeting that cancelling until 2021 was the best decision we could make.
“We look forward to the 2021 events when restrictions, safety, national, state, county and local concerns may be alleviated and we can carry on in the Spirit of our Historic Stevensville!”
The decision to cancel came in the same week that the Montana State Fair, which was to be held in the same week as the Creamery Picnic, was cancelled and also a new outbreak of travel-related COVID-19 cases hit Ravalli County.
Concern was expressed at the meeting that Stevensville’s Main Street businesses would be especially hard hit by the event cancellation. There was some discussion about trying to schedule some sort of downtown festival later in the year as COVID-19 regulations are eased.
Although the annual 4th of July Pignic potluck was cancelled, planning for a fireworks display is still going forward. Raymond Smith is heading a fundraising effort to raise enough money to cover the cost of the fireworks. The Stevensville Civic Club has committed at least $1000 and a private donor offered an additional $1000 at the Civic Club meeting. The total is expected to be around $6000, according to Smith, who has already received commitments of about $3700.
Stevensville Western Heritage Days and the 50-Mile Garage Sale, scheduled for June 26 and 27, were previously cancelled. As of this time, the Ravalli County Fair, scheduled for September 2-5, will go forward as planned.