One of the community’s largest annual traditions has been canceled, organizers announced Monday.
"It has been our mission to offer an event that not only supports our community, but is also safe for our participants, vendors, and spectators," Over the Road Gang officials said. "After very careful consideration, we have decided to postpone this year’s show and connect with everyone next year on Sept. 18 and 19, 2021."
Over the Road Gang, Inc. has hosted the Ol’ Marais River Run for the last 33 years, and announced its cancellation in a release Monday morning.
"We have made a very difficult decision," OTRG members said. "It was especially hard to make this decision considering that the proceeds of our show are given to local organizations and provide scholarships for students. We also know that this will also have a great economic impact on our beloved community. The health and safety of our participants, vendors, sponsors and more than 10,000 attendees have always been our number one priority. With that being said, we have decided that the risks of having this event far outweigh the benefits of hosting the show this year."
The club also mentioned delays precipitated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have made proper event preparation impossible.
"Making this decision was inevitable after also recognizing that, even if all the restrictions have been lifted by our scheduled show time and we could assure the health and safety of everyone attending, it is not possible for us to put into place all the elements required to execute the quality event that is expected," officials said.
Registered participants and vendors will have their 2020 payments rolled over to the 2021 show. Those wishing to cancel a registration or vendor spot and receive a refund can contact the club via their website contact form at www.olmarais.com, their email email@example.com or by mail at Over the Road Gang , Inc., PO Box 845, Ottawa KS 66067
The deadline to request a refund is Aug. 31, 2020.
"We appreciate you understanding how difficult this decision was and know that some people will be upset by the decision, and others will applaud it," club officials said. "Either way, please know that we are acting in what we believe to be in the best interest of not only our club, but the participants and our community."