Covid causes local event changes or cancellations

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – In the midst of Covid, especially now with the new Delta wave, local events are taking a hit once more. 

Joshua Smith with Bowling Green Community Education said the pandemic had a huge impact on their events. He said their attendance for their classes has dropped about 50 percent from 2019 to now.

“We really did struggle last year. Whether it was numbers, people coming out for classes, or even just having to cancel events last year. You know, for months we weren’t providing any programs. Our summer activities, fairs, our children’s activity, Blockbusters at the Ballpark, all were canceled last year.”

Smith said that when students are out of school because of Covid, the effects trickle down to their after school programs. It’s also hard, because their classes ranging from wine tasting to interview prep all provide social interaction- a core need Smith said people can’t always seem to fulfill these days.

“With our classes, because it provides that social element, you’re having to find other ways to fulfill those. More or less, people are having to stay at home. They’re not able to get out as much and interact with other people,” said Smith. “That’s really the drawback when we have to cancel classes. Adults are really missing those opportunities to get out and learn something new, or, interview classes, résumé classes, all of those, you’re missing out on that information and having to find it in a different way.”

They have all outdoor programs this year to keep safety a priority. 

Along with the Community Education events, American Cancer Society’s cancelled their Relay for Life at the Bowling Green Ball Park. Barren River Animal Welfare Association cancelled Shake your Paw Ball. Amazing Angels cancelled their Humor Heals event that was supposed to take place this weekend at Tidballs.

Lost River Cave’s Director of Philanthropy Katie Cielinski said they’ve had to become creative with their gatherings.

“Covid had a lot of economic impact here. We were closed for three months, but just like so many other businesses, we’re finding creative solutions,” said Cielinski. 

Instead of Get Down at lost River Cave where the cave is jam packed with event goers, they now will host Cocktails and Trails.

She said the cave is expecting close to 300 attendees- a huge success. However, the success is a double edged sword in this pandemic. She and her coworkers have put their brains together to strategize solutions to have a safe, fun event. 

“Usually at Get Down, we had to everybody in the cave at one time, and it’s a big party. This time we’re doing timed entry, so we’ll have folks arriving at different times throughout the night,” Cielinski explained. “We want to be a part of the solution. So, even though we want to have Get Down and have everybody in one spot, it’s important that everybody do their part. So, that’s kind of what we feel like we’re doing by making the sacrifice of that event and getting a chance to do some thing new and something fun with this one.”