Coronavirus: Springfield Rotary cancels annual food truck competition

The Seventh Annual Springfield Rotary Gourmet Food Truck Competition set for August 15 in Springfield’s Veteran’s Park has been canceled, the Springfield Rotary Club announced on Monday.

The fundraiser competition that brings in up to 35 food trucks from Ohio and other states has become one of the area’s most anticipated community events since 2014.

The decision was made over health concerns in response to the coronavirus pandemic according to Eddie Bell, the competition’s publicity chair.

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“It’s a great community event and fundraiser and we didn’t feel it would it would be safe at this time. You have so many people packed into a relatively small space and we have volunteers of all ages,” Bell said. “We can’t properly distance people and have lines that get tremendously long and in the entertainment area.”

While individual food trucks have done steady business during the past few weeks, it’s less manageable having more than 30 clustered in the park setting, Bell said.

As the Rotary Club has been doing all its weekly meetings on Zoom, it also limited getting together to plan properly for an event of such a large scale.

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In addition, Bell mentioned several food trucks that normally participate had responded in recent weeks that they wouldn’t be able to this year. Announcing the cancelation now gives other committed food trucks and entertainers the chance to make other plans for the date.

This is the Rotary Club’s biggest fundraiser of the year. The club also sponsors a Dream Soccer event in August and a children’s Christmas party each December.

Yet another Rotary event, a spring prom done in partnership with Developmental Disabilities of Clark County was also canceled earlier in the year. Bell was unsure of the status of the other events.

“We’re still committed to our partners,” said Bell. “We’re disappointed and we know the community will be upset. It’s sad to see events we look forward to canceled but I think out of the welfare of everyone it’s necessary. We hope to be back doing it in 2021.”

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