Lead cancels or adjusts major events amidst COVID-19 concerns

Courtesy photo

LEAD — At least two major events in Lead have been cancelled and one is being restructured to accommodate social distancing practices.

Sierra Ward, director of the Lead Area Chamber of Commerce, announced Thursday that the Lead-Deadwood Community Fund Chili Cookoff that was originally scheduled to be held April 16, has been cancelled with no rescheduled date set. The chili cookoff has traditionally been a fundraiser for the First Interstate Lead-Deadwood Community Fund, and has been the setting for rewarding local grants to non-profit organizations from within the Lead and Deadwood area.

The Lead-Deadwood High School All School Reunion, which was slated to be held this summer, is being rescheduled for 2021.

The Mile High Show and Shine, traditionally held during Lead’s annual Gold Camp Jubilee Fourth of July celebration, has also cancelled festivities for this year.

Rod Nelson, an organizer of the event said the cancellation is the direct result of the COVID-19 virus. In order to run a successful event, Nelson said organizers have to order items such as T-shirts, trophies and other supplies by the end of May. Since there is so much uncertainty about how long people will be encouraged to practice social distancing, it was easier to just cancel the event and make plans for next year.

“We thought about it for a long time and we hung on for a little bit,” Nelson said. “But we figured it would be best for everybody, since everything is so uncertain. We are hoping to make an event that is bigger and better next year.”

Nelson said all sponsorship dollars that were previously collected have been returned.

Organizers of Neutrino Day, which is normally held the second weekend in July and draws thousands of visitors to Lead each year, say they are working on restructuring the event. While there may not be any live science activities for Neutrino Day this year, Constance Walter, communications director at the Sanford Lab, said they are working on making the event a virtual experience.

“We are working on how we can make Neutrino Day still happen, and be a fun and exciting day for people,” Walter said, adding that plans are in the development process.

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