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Letter from the President

An update on COVID-19 and event progress in Minnesota

It seems so long ago that we were all together in Duluth at the MNFEA conference - wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then. 

In the four months since, our industry has been decimated.  Many of us have been furloughed, filed for unemployment, SBA loans, or both, just to stay afloat.  We cancelled our spring and summer events or postponed them to the fall in hopes of salvaging part of the year.  If only it was that simple.

Here we are in July, speaking COVID more fluently but speechless about what’s next. We know the language – social distancing, face masks, and hand washing – but knowing what to say and getting everyone to hear it and follow along is another.  The Governor knows this, which is why we’re still in Phase III of his Stay Safe MN reopening plan, limiting gatherings to 250 people. 

We wanted you to know that MNFEA is behind the scenes trying to help turn the dial safely to bring back events.  We have been in contact with the Governor’s task force - the Department of Employment and Economic Development, Hospitality Minnesota, the Department of Health, Explore Minnesota and others.  We know large scale outdoor festivals are still weeks or months away, but we’re told the Governor has “intent to move to Phase IV as quickly as possible” which “may include some smaller events” soon (those comments were in reference to our request to allow events of 1,000-3,000 attendees in the near future).  No timeline for the next phase was given, but we’ll stay in the conversation to keep the dial turning.

Stay safe and we hope to see you soon.

Steve Madson

MNFEA Board President

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