The El Campo Chamber of Commerce is canceling the 12th annual Prairie Days Festival scheduled for Oct. 2.

Low vendor participation, manpower and safety concerns were cited as reasons in the Friday announcement.

“It is with great sadness that the El Campo Chamber of Commerce has made the most difficult decision to cancel the 2021 Prairie Days Festival,” El Campo Chamber of Commerce President Rebecca Munos said.

The Prairie Days Festival is an annual El Campo tradition featuring music, dancing, kids’ events and shopping. Last year’s Prairie Days Festival had to be canceled because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“We worked really hard to bring the positive energy back, and a little normalcy back to our community,” Munos said. “We have worked hard since the restrictions were lifted, and we have been getting things done but because safety is our number one priority we had to cancel.”

Prairie Days is a one-day event held the first Saturday in October.

Chamber officials met this week to figure out a way to hold the event despite the challenges, but were unable to do so.

“The committee had a very somber meeting and went through any possible scenario, but it just wouldn’t work out,” Munos said. “We really didn’t have a choice, but we feel like we made the right decision for our city.”

The COVID-19 virus is a safety concern, but not the only reason for the cancellation, Munos said.

“Along with lower vendor participation, much of the manpower and resources necessary to make this event possible are not available to us at this time,” Munos said.

Despite the cancellation, Munoz hopes to bring back the festival as soon as it is safe.

“We would hope to be able to come back and be able to do this next year,” Munos said. “We truly appreciate the support of the vendors, our sponsors and the community for the continued support.”

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