By Shelby Stewart
Though the current Stay-At-Home executive order is due to expire on May 28, the Ortonville Downtown Development Authority has made the decision to cancel the June 18 ‘Eats in the Streets’ event.
“It’s just so hard to try and forecast what is going to be allowable,” said Matt Jenkins, DDA director. “But, for the June 18 event, I think it was clear that based on the crowds that we’ve had at that event for the two previous years, there’s no way that’s going to be allowable size gathering.”
The DDA usually has three Eats in the Streets events a year, when food trucks come into downtown Ortonville to promote foot-traffic in the downtown area and encourage patrons to shop local while there. The July 4 ‘Food Trucks and Fireworks’ event and the event during the week of Septemberfest have not yet been canceled.
“As much as we want to reopen downtown, we have some level of responsibility for doing it the right way,” said Jenkins.
DDA President Courtney McClerren agreed that it wouldn’t be safe to hold the event, and that canceling it would be better for the time being.
“As anybody well knows, if you want to have an event, you have to have it signed off by the fire chief and the police lieutenant in this town, and that’s with every town, and they cannot go against the executive order,” said McClerren. “So if the executive order says we cannot have a gathering that large then they’re not going to sign off on the event. We just really felt it was better to just take that step and mitigate the situation ourselves than even try to move forward with fingers crossed and put anybody in a situation where they have to make any kind of decision that might be uncomfortable.”
As said on the Downtown Ortonville Facebook page, “We will shop, dine, gather together again, until then #LoveOrtonville.”
By Shelby Stewart