Riverside Arts Weekend – the juried art fair in Guthrie Park which for the past 12 years has heralded the summer event season – is being postponed until 2021 in anticipation of prolonged fallout as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty of the future length of the statewide stay-at-home order.
The decision was made, said Jill Mateo, president of Riverside Arts Weekend’s board of directors, “out of an abundance of caution for our artists, patrons and volunteers” as well as the village employees who facilitate set up, take down, traffic control and cleanup.
“We like to think of RAW as kicking off the summer season, but this year we just don’t see it as worth the risk,” Mateo said. “This is the best thing to do for everyone involved, and we’ll be back next year.”
This year the decision had been made to move the event to mid-June after a couple of recent rain-soaked years in May. It’s expected that the 2021 event will also be scheduled for June.
The pandemic has also led to the delay of at least one popular event in Brookfield. The Brookfield Chamber of Commerce announced earlier this month that it would be postponing its annual Street Dance at Eight Corners to a date to be determined.
The event had been scheduled for May 30, which is also still the tentative date for the annual Bike Brookfield cycling tour event, which begins and ends at Kiwanis Park and snakes through Brookfield and the Salt Creek Trail.
Ross Klicker, the village of Brookfield’s community and economic development director, said it’s likely that event may be canceled or postponed if the state’s stay-at-home order is extended into May.
For now, however, it hasn’t been scrapped outright.
“We all agree it will be extremely difficult to do it on this date,” Klicker told the Landmark. “Official decision will be made soon after we get further direction from the governor regarding stay-at-home order.”