Dakotafest canceled for 2020 due to COVID-19
Dakotafest, which was slated to mark its 25th year in Mitchell in mid-August, has been canceled for 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a message on its website, event organizer IdeaAg Group said uncertainties about the pandemic and the "precautions required to prevent future outbreaks makes it impractical to hold a successful, engaging, and safe show."
"Therefore, it is with great disappointment and heavy hearts that we share that Dakotafest 2020 is cancelled," the announcement said. "This decision was not made lightly, but rather in collaboration with officials and event partners. ... We understand that cancelling the show impacts the ag community but simply put, it is the right decision to make in these uncertain times."
The event was slated to be held Aug. 18-20 at the Schalffman Farm on the southeast edge of Mitchell along Interstate 90. Dakotafest typically has more than 500 exhibitors covering 50 acres of land, and also schedules events, activities and educational sessions during the three days of the show. Dakotafest said the show has averaged 28,900 attendees in the five-year span between 2014 and 2018.
IdeaAg Group said it had been working for the last 10 months to prepare for the show's 25th anniversary and was optimistic to hold the show even after the virus reached pandemic stage. IdeaAg said it is fully committed to the 2021 show and will try to bring some aspects of the show virtually later in 2020, with more information to be announced later.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has created a truly unprecedented situation around the world. Our thoughts are with those who have been directly affected by the virus, and all those struggling with the ramifications of this global health crisis," event organizers said.
IdeaAg also canceled Farmfest, which is the Minnesota version of the farm show near Redwood Falls, Minn., and is usually held two weeks before Dakotafest.
The 2021 show dates for Dakotafest will be Aug. 17-19.