Initially scheduled for April 23-25, the Red Poppy Festival may hold virtual events instead as the coronavirus pandemic continues and the slow rollout of vaccines hinders large, crowded events.
Georgetown Tourism Manager Cari Miller presented the council with four options on how to proceed with the event that in past has drawn tens of thousands of visitors to the Georgetown Square over three days.
The first was to hold the event as usual in April, which was not recommended by local health officials; the second was hold a virtual event in April; the third was to reschedule the entire festival to October; and the fourth was to do a combination of virtual in April and full event in October.
Several council members said they were in favor of rescheduling the entire event to October when they said they believe vaccines will be widely distributed and a more complete event can take place. A few said in addition to the October event, they would like to see some family activities and virtual events also take place in April.
Miller said some April virtual event ideas include a virtual Poppy Pet costume contest, a Red Poppy chalk art contest and a Red Poppy trivia event.
Miller added that the October event would likely take place Oct. 1-3, but council asked for her to offer other dates as well.
“Rescheduling the full event into the October timeframe probably makes a lot more sense right now with what we understand and know with the vaccine rollout,” Mayor Josh Schroeder said.
When the coronavirus pandemic reached Central Texas in March 2020, the Red Poppy Festival was postponed to October. In July, the October event was canceled altogether.
The discussion for the 2021 event was brought up in a council workshop meeting, and no final decisions have been made.