GENOA – For the second year in a row, Genoa Days has been canceled because of what organizers said were “all of the hurdles and stipulations set forth by the state of Illinois to safely have the Carnival” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The popular and annual family-fun festival is hosted each year as a fundraiser by the Genoa-Kingston Fire Department. On Thursday, organizers announced in a social media post the event could not happen.
“It is with great disappointment that we have to share this news with everyone,” the post reads. “We as a department have been working hard for months to be able to have Genoa Days, with a lot of thought, education and talking with government bodies the Genoa-Kingston Fire Department has decided to not have Genoa Days 2021. As much as we were looking forward to celebrating this town and bringing us together it was almost impossible with all of the hurdles and stipulations set forth by the state of Illinois to safely have the Carnival.”
The post said the decision was made also with a mind to safety related to crowds and the continued risk of viral spread.
“Our first and foremost job is to keep the community and ourselves safe from harm and/or an outbreak,” according to the post. “We also will not be having the parade as that would gather too much of a crowd with the state of Illinois stipulations. We could not wait longer to make the decision because too much planning and organizing goes into it.”
The plan still is to have the fundraising component, including raffle tickets for sale.
“We still will be selling our raffle tickets to help with these purchases so please feel free to stop down or see a member to purchase them,” according to the post. “We can’t express enough how thankful we are for the love and support we get from each and every one of you!”
Also still happening is the 62nd anniversary of the Genoa Days King and Queen Scholarship contest, which is hosted by the Genoa Area Chamber of Commerce, which provides a scholarship to the winning high school seniors who are residents of Genoa or Kingston and attending Genoa-Kingston High School, homeschool or parochial school.
Organizers Thursday said they know how disappointing another year without Genoa Days is, but thanked everyone for their support.
“We know it is disappointing and something we were all looking forward to as we try to get back to some normalcy,” according to the post. “Not to mention this is our biggest fundraiser for the year to help get many needed supplies and equipment! Thank you for understanding and we hope to have it back in full force in June 2022!”