Following discussions with local health officials and other area events organizers, the Parties in the Park Board of Directors announced today that the 36th Parties in the Park season will be canceled due to concerns about the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This was not an easy decision,” Parties in the Park Board of Directors President Lisa Richards said in a press statement. “While we’re sad to not be able to party with Muskegon County residents this summer, we felt this was the best decision to allow for proper planning for our vendors, sponsors, and nonprofit partners.”
The decision to cancel the summer-long event, which typically runs from the end of May through the end of August in downtown Muskegon’s Hackley Park, was made due to “the impacts of Covid-19 in Muskegon County,” the unknown timeline of the state’s stay-at-home orders, and what will likely be a slow and careful reintroduction of large gatherings, the board of directors said.
For three and a half decades, Parties in the Park has provided free summertime events that are meant to celebrate area musicians, nonprofits, food, vendors, and more. Each week throughout the summer, a different community nonprofit is selected to host the party at Hackley Park. That organization then receives the proceeds from the gathering that features live music, food, beverages, and other family-friendly activities.
The following nonprofit organizations were selected to host one of the Parties in the Park this season. They have all been invited to partner with Parties in the Park in the 2021 season:
- AgeWell Services of West Michigan
- Disability Network of West Michigan
- JCI Greater Muskegon
- Muskegon Motorcycle Club
- Muskegon Rotary Club
- Pay It Forward Outreach
- West Michigan Speedskating
- Women’s Division Chamber of Commerce
In addition to the nonprofits, dozens of businesses had confirmed their sponsorships for this year’s Parties in the Park. The board of directors has contacted all of the sponsors to discuss options for the 2021 season.
“We understand that this is disappointing news for our community,” Richards said. “We continue to be grateful for the opportunity to provide over three decades of free entertainment supporting nonprofit organizations, and we’re already working on creating a memorable 2021 season.”