Rhythm on the River Cancelled for 2020
After much deliberation and with heavy hearts, the Fort Atkinson Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors officially cancelled Rhythm on the River 2020; a decision made during their April board meeting. Citing safety concerns around the COVID-19 virus and consultations with the Jefferson County Health Department and City of Fort Atkinson, the board unanimously agreed that the most socially responsible option was to cancel the event.
Project Manager Kelley Westphal, who, with a committee of dedicated volunteers, organizes the annual celebration, said, “While we treasure the event and the community it creates in Fort Atkinson each August, we simply cannot put our friends, families and community members at risk by hosting this gathering in this uncertain time. It is disappointing to have to cancel Rhythm on the River for the first time in 18 years, but we look forward to seeing everyone’s friendly faces next year, and know that the community event will be better than ever. On behalf of the Rhythm on the River committee we would also like to thank the sponsors, vendors and bands that committed to this year’s event.”
Sponsors and volunteers are already making plans for Rhythm on the River 2021. In the meantime, the Fort Chamber Board of Directors is exploring ideas for alternate chamber fundraisers later this year. Other chamber events have gone virtual, such as Lemonade Day and the community premier of Discover Wisconsin’s Fort Atkinson episode, scheduled for Friday, May 15, at 6:30pm. With some temporary modifications, the chamber’s farmer market is still set to premier in its usual location, May 9, across from the Fort Atkinson post office.
Chamber Executive Director Carrie Chisholm expressed gratitude to the board, staff, sponsors, volunteers and vendors who organize the chamber’s events. “These projects take months to plan, so a lot of hard work goes into them. It’s tough not to see them come to fruition, but like everyone else, we’re learning to pivot. We see this as an opportunity to make future events just as good, if not better, than what we’ve done before.”
The Fort Atkinson Chamber offices remain closed to the public while the Safer At Home order is in place, but staff are working remotely and continue to serve the community to the best of their abilities. Questions and concerns can be directed to email@example.com
, or 920-563-3210.