Let Sisters’ events go forward
Last updated 3/3/2021 at Noon
Sisters’ major events — Sisters Rodeo, Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, our music festivals — are a vital part of the fabric of our community.
The economic impacts they provide are significant, but their cultural impacts are even more important. These events support scholarships and major educational programs in our schools, and stoke lifelong passions in youth and adults alike. They weave Sisters’ sense of identity, and enhance our quality of life.
They must be allowed to go forward this summer.
Event organizers for all of these programs are in a tricky spot. The events don’t occur til summer — and signs point to summer bringing significant relief from the COVID-19 pandemic. But organizers can’t wait til the pandemic actually recedes to make decisions about whether and how the events can go forward. They have to start making commitments to performers, vendors, and participants in April.
The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and Governor Kate Brown need to immediately develop and roll out a plan under which large-scale events such as those that grace Sisters through the summer and fall can safely come back to serve the community and their patrons.
The City of Sisters and Deschutes County do not call the shots on what is allowed or not allowed. They can, however, advocate for our community, and assure the state that they will assist in ensuring that events follow appropriate protocols. Local citizens, too, can write their representatives, the governor, and OHA to seek action.
We urge the Sisters City Council and the Deschutes County Board of Commissioners to lobby the governor to take action now to provide clarity and guidance for organizers of major events so that they can effectively plan for how they can safely and responsibly get back in the saddle.
Jim Cornelius, Editor in Chief