National Pheasant Fest scheduled for Sioux Falls won't be held in 2021 due to COVID-19
Event was expected to draw 30,000 attendees once again
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever announced Wednesday that it will not hold its 2021 national convention in Sioux Falls, South Dakota due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The organization said the decision was difficult but could not put supporters in harm's way in order to hold the National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic, which was scheduled to take place Feb. 19-21, 2021 at the Premier Center in Sioux Falls. The event made its first appearance in South Dakota in 2018 to much acclaim and fanfare, with nearly 30,000 attendees over three days.
“National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic is driven by the person-to-person interactions surrounding our partners, exhibitors, bird dogs, hunting heritage, youth, banquets and so much more,” said Howard Vincent, president and CEO of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever. “Similarly, the organization’s habitat conservation mission over the long-term depends on keeping people healthy and engaged. We are simply not going to put our supporters in harm’s way.”
The organization plans to next meet in-person for the 2022 convention, which is scheduled to be held in Omaha, Nebraska. An announcement from the organization vowed that the event will return to South Dakota in the future.
National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic staff are currently communicating with all registered sponsors and exhibitors for 2021 to discuss alternative partnership opportunities in lieu of a national event. The announcement said a virtual gathering is planned for late February 2021 to kick off a new campaign aimed at increasing public lands, upland bird populations and upland hunter numbers, with more information to be announced in coming weeks.
“We’ve seen some amazing upland bird numbers this season, with lots of new hunters afield too,” said Vincent. “Likewise, we’ve experienced incredible support for the organization amid a global health crisis in this unprecedented year. Once again, the uplands have proven their value to all Americans as a place to cherish. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever intend to keep things that way by keeping everyone safe and healthy.”