Cancelling was right decision, though A’ROR’N Days will be missed

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For the first time in 30 years there will be no mid-summer celebration in Aurora.
This week’s news that A’ROR’N Days 2020 has been cancelled was disappointing, but not surprising at all in light of a pandemic which is still wreaking havoc around the world. It was an inevitable decision, though planners waited as long as they could before finally pulling the plug.
When asked a direct question about summer celebrations, Gov. Pete Ricketts said no way in May, and though it may be possible in June there would have to be severe restrictions. You can do a lot of things in front of a computer, but watching parades, having water fights and gathering with thousands of people on the downtown square doesn’t convert well to a virtual platform. This year’s event was also scheduled to include a 125th courthouse birthday celebration and as always Aurora Alumni Association festivities, in addition to class gatherings and all the other items that fill the four-day agenda. The whole weekend has been wiped out this year, though the courthouse party will be back on the calendar in 2021.
Not having A’ROR’N Days week to look forward to in June is a tough blow for several reasons. It’s just such a grand tradition here that it won’t feel like summer without planes flying overhead at high noon on that Saturday, marking the start of one of the signature events. More than that, however, this four-day gig is a celebration of friendships old and new, good food, music, laughs and just plain fun. After two months of forced isolation and social distancing due to the coronavirus spread we are all oh so ready to take a step back toward normal. We’re not there yet, unfortunately, and based on this week’s CDHD numbers it’s hard to know when large crowds will be able to gather again here in Hamilton County.
Unfortunately, the number of consecutive years for A’ROR’N Days won’t be the only string broken this year. The go/no-go decision for the longest running county fair in Nebraska, which of course belongs to Hamilton County, is still pending, and we’ve got our fingers crossed that by late July we’ll at least be able to celebrate a scaled down version of that running tradition. Stay tuned ...
Ultimately, safety of our citizens is the trump card in all of these decisions. Potentially putting lives in jeopardy is simply not worth the risk. While we will miss seeing all of you on the last weekend in June, we know that when we are able to celebrate again, as a community, it will be all that much more special. We look forward to that day.
Until then let’s take a knee, stay safe and stay positive.
Kurt Johnson

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