After careful consideration, closely monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and consulting with city officials, local community groups, and the Alabama Department of Health, the Pell City Chamber of Commerce has decided it would be in the best interest of public safety and health to cancel the upcoming 2020 Pell City Hometown Block Party.
“This was a very difficult decision to make,” said Pell City Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Urainah Glidewell. “But we want to be considerate of public health and current guidelines and make the best decision for our community, volunteers, vendors, first responders, sponsors, and non-profit groups that are involved in the event.”
The Annual Block Party event, which typically draws crowds of over 10,000 attendees to downtown Pell City, was original scheduled for June 6 and rescheduled for Sept. 12. Businesses are slowly reopening, but there are still restrictions due to COVID-19 lifting in the state. There has been an increase in positive cases, and health officials are unsure what the coming months will hold, but project a possible resurgence of the virus.
“We are disheartened with the thought of not having the block party this year, which has become an annual tradition and brings the community together,” Glidewell said. “But we feel moving forward with the event this year with the given uncertainty would be a risk for our community. The Hometown Block Party will be back in 2021, and we endeavor to make it better than ever.”
The Pell City Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors voted unanimously on the decision, citing public health and the ongoing restrictions on social distancing and prohibitions on attendance that are difficult to enforce in the festival environment.
For now, the Chamber will continue to focus on their business members to make sure the businesses return stronger than before, by creating community awareness, sharing resources, and updates on current regulations. The Chamber also does weekly social media business spotlights, newsletters, and has just started an infomercial initiative for members.
They are also continuing to plan for the upcoming Annual Christmas Parade in December, which they hope, by then, the COVID-19 crisis will be resolved.
“We are looking forward to continue to serve our community, especially during these uncertain times,” Glidewell said. “Our community has always been strong together, and will continue to be so. We want to ensure that we do our part for their health and prosperity as well.”