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Aug. 4, 2020 | Tuesday
Local News
Virgil Stampede cancelled due to COVID-19
File photo. (Richard Harley/Niagara Now)

The Virgil Stampede is cancelled due to COVID-19.

Marcia Penner, secretary of the Virgil Business Association, which puts on the stampede, said this is the first time in 54 years that the stampede has been cancelled.

“We’ve had to postpone things because of weather. We’ve had to postpone the fireworks or postpone an event, but we’ve never had to actually cancel the full event to my knowledge," Penner told The Lake Report Friday, shortly after the decision was made.

She said it’s a sad feeling all around.

“I think it just drives home the point that this is a serious pandemic and that we really all need to be doing our part, flattening the curve, and staying home so we can back to normal — because until people start doing that I don’t think we’re going to get a handle on this.”

Penner said the Virgil Business Association had been holding off on making a decision until the end of April, but with the news of the town extending closures until June 30, the call was made early.

She said the event couldn’t be postponed.

“It’s very, very difficult to have an event like this and postpone it, because of volunteers, also lining up all the entertainment, the rides, the midway, you know, they always have all their events for the year booked in advance. The volunteers are the hardest part as well,” she said.

“We’ll be back again next year though, bigger and better. This won’t keep us down. We just have to do what’s best for the people, we have to do what’s best for the community and our families, and that’s cancelling it this year, sadly.”

She said other than it being sad, it won’t affect the Virgil Business Association financially.

“We’re non-profit, so everything we make we give back to the community. So when we have the stampede, whatever money that’s raised we’ll give it to a charity or to a community project. So this year we aren’t having it so we are not going to be able to, obviously, allocate that money out.”

She said right now cancelling the event is the “best decision for the community.”

“It’s disappointing, but it’s the right thing to do, and we’ve got to stand by it.”

“It’s a weird time,” she said. “Like nothing we’ve ever experienced.”

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