Harvest Fest still set

This year’s Harvest Festival in Wauneta is still on — so far.
    Wauneta Chamber of Commerce members decided Monday to carry on with preparations for the festival, scheduled for the last weekend in July.
    There will be some changes, however. Any activities formerly held inside probably will be moved outside, for example.
    “If it’s outside, people can stay as far apart as they want,” member Ashley Einspahr said.
    And perhaps just as importantly, if the county fair is canceled, “people need something to do,” member Angie West said.
    Rogan Einspahr noted that Harvest Festival organizers are mulling the idea of holding Wauneta-Palisade’s annual Alumni Banquet at the same time
    The Chamber’s Harvest Festival committee will continue meeting and planning the event and evaluate the possibility of holding it next month.
    In other business Monday, Mandi Kramer updated members on a proposal for the village to buy the Chateau Theater and lease it back to the Chamber.
    The move has been proposed because the theater recently lost its property tax exemption from the county. Under the proposal, the village would pay the property taxes and insurance.
    Kramer said the county has not yet appraised the building for tax purposes, so it’s uncertain how much that will be. Both sides are awaiting that information from the County Assessor’s Office. The Village Board tabled the matter last week pending release of the property tax bill.
    Ashley Einspahr noted that the distributor that sends films to the theater won’t resume doing that until at least the end of July, because movie studios have shut down productions until the pandemic is over.
    The Chamber also discussed some annual events that didn’t come off, and one that’s been cancelled.
    The Chamber missed national Teachers Appreciation Week and did not hold its annual end-of-the-year banquet to mark that. Wauneta-Palisade Schools Superintendent Randy Geier assured members that teachers were not upset about that, especially with the annual welcome still planned to greet teachers before a new school year.
    “You guys step up pretty well in August,” Geier said.
    The Easter egg hunt also didn’t happen, but West said the substitute for that — plastic eggs for home Easter egg hunts were distributed at Crossroads — went over well.

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