Overton County’s historic Pioneer Day will not return in 2020 because of COVID-19.
Chamber Marketing and Tourism Director Shannon Cantrell said cancelling Pioneer Day was the easiest and safest decision for the community.
“We didn’t want to do it,” Cantrell said. “We knew under the circumstances and concerns of COVID-19 that we really didn’t have any other options.”
The Pioneer Days committee and the Livingston-Overton County Chamber of Commerce announced in January that 2020 would be a homecoming year for the county. Cantrell said the return of Pioneer Day was the centerpiece.
“This is very important to us and everybody on the committee,” Cantrell said. “It is important to the community. We had so much community support with this, and I think everybody would be disappointed if we didn’t move forward for next year.”
Pioneer Day Committee member Gene Gantt said Pioneer Day was very successful for about 20 years until planning stopped. Now, they want to give Pioneer Day a home and revitalize the event.
“It was something that folks got together and just did, but nobody really owned it,” Gantt said. “At some point in time about 23 years ago, it just stopped.”
This year’s Pioneer Day was set to have two stages for live music at the Livingston Square with vendors and food. Cantrell said vendors who have already paid for a booth can receive a refund or keep the reservation for next year.
Cantrell said the committee hopes to start planning for Pioneer Day in June 2021 this fall.