Cancelled or changed? Popular North Country events navigate the pandemic

Cancelled or changed? Popular North Country events navigate the pandemic

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - It’s a new year, but the U.S. is still not out of the woods when it comes to the pandemic. That means people may not be able to attend their favorite local events in 2021.

One popular event is the North Country Goes Green Irish Festival, which has been cancelled yet again.

“This will be the second year in a row we haven’t had a festival, which cuts down the amount of money that we can raise, and in turn give back to the community,” said Dave Missert, Co-chairman of North Country Goes Green Irish Festival.

Luck may not be with the Irish Festival, but the Volunteer Transportation Center’s annual chili cook-off struck gold pre-pandemic.

They held the 2020 cook-off in February, right before everything changed.

This year’s cook-off will go on, but with a different look. Instead of one day of chili, there will be many to encourage social distancing and bring more business to north country restaurants.

“It’s not just one day this year, it’ll be the entire month of February. So, you have the ability to do this chili crawl that we’re kind of looking at it as. And you’ll be able to go across the tri-county area for the entire month. So, you don’t have to rush all in one day to hit every single restaurant that’s on the map,” said Jeremiah Papineau, Foundation Director of the Volunteer Transportation Center.

People can vote for their favorite chili online.

And also online? This year’s Snow Town Film Festival. It’s typically held at the Dulles State Office Building in Watertown, but this year’s festival can be streamed on the Eventive TV app.

“We’re able to stream a lot more films this year just because we have more time. We have actually stretched our film festival out, instead of two days, it will be a full week. January 29th to February 7th,” said Kylie Peck, a Snow Town Film Festival Board Member.

So this year’s events might not happen, or they might be on a computer screen. You might even have a few more chances to get a taste of chili or watch a film, but one thing’s clear, the North Country will keep finding ways to make the show go on.

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