Volunteers prepare corn for the 39th annual Tecumseh Corn Festival on Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014 in Tecumseh, Ont. (Michelle Maluske/ CTV Windsor)

After 45 years of the Tecumseh Corn Festival, this year’s event is the latest casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due continued provincial orders on events and gatherings, the town has made the decision to cancel the annual Tecumseh Corn Festival scheduled to run Aug. 28 to Aug. 30.

“Today’s announcement is a difficult one for all of us as we know how popular this event is every summer,” said Tecumseh mayor Gary McNamara. “The Tecumseh Corn Festival is a summer highlight but we cannot schedule this event or undertake the work to organize this festival without the ability to guarantee the health and safety of our residents and visitors. We continue to put the well-being of our community first in the decisions we are making.”

This year would have marked the 45th year of the annual event at Lacasse Park, which was once again named one of the Top 100 Festivals in Ontario by Festivals and Events Ontario—the 17th consecutive year of recognition.

Earlier this year, the town undertook an extensive review of the festival and through surveys and public consultations the results indicated an overall support for continuing the long-standing festival as a family event financially supported by the town.

“Planning for large events such as the Tecumseh Corn Festival takes months and includes a number of individuals and groups to put it together,” said Paul Anthony, director of parks and recreation. “Without knowing the timeline for when larger gatherings can be permitted or if events as large are permitted under government orders, we had no other choice but to cancel this year’s event.”

While the town had initially planned a phased approach to the festival, ramping down to a one-day event, with full cancelation determined at the end of June, it is believed that a return to events with large crowds will not be possible this summer. So, the decision was taken early to cancel the event for 2020.

“Like our neighbouring municipalities, we will put our efforts into planning for the 2021 Tecumseh Corn Festival especially considering the review of the festival undertaken earlier,” says Anthony. “We thank our sponsors, volunteers and members of the public who provided comments on the festival for their continued support and we hope that we can come back next year with a great event for the community.”