NEWTON — Trappers Rendezvous, one of the largest events in Harvey County and the largest event hosted by Harvey County West Park each year, will not happen in 2021.


For more than 30 years, thousands of Boy Scouts from multiple states have spent a weekend in January camping, trading and participating in Scout activities at West Park.


The 2021 event was scheduled for Jan. 15-17, 2021.


But growing COVID-19 case numbers and area hospitals reaching capacity for treatment of the disease led the county commission to put a hold on the event.


"I hate to cancel it, but I think we have to in our county because we are kind of out of control a little bit with community spread," said Harvey County Commissioner Chip Westfall. "With Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up I think we will see numbers spike some more. ... I know the governor and the Legislature are talking about more restrictions. They are working together that this could be a state decision, but for now, it is a Harvey County decision. I cannot support it. I think it is too dangerous."


On Tuesday, as the commission was talking about Trappers Rendezvous, there were 297 active COVID-19 cases in Harvey County. The two-week positive testing percentage stood at more than 19% and the health department reported 218 new cases in seven days.


Trappers Rendezvous has grown from a couple of Scout troops camping at West Park to upwards of several thousand Scouts from multiple states over the course of 44 years.


"With the numbers we are seeing, I just do not think we need a superspreader event," Commissioner Randy Hague said.


"We are seeing the same numbers you are. It is really unfortunate, but we understand your position," said event organizer John Ferguson. "We want to keep our scouts and families safe, as well. ... We appreciate you taking the time to consider it, and we are looking forward to next year."