The difficult decision was made this morning by the Othello Crane Festival Organizing Committee, the City of Othello, and the Othello School District and our valued partners to cancel the 2020 Othello Sandhill Crane Festival. On Wednesday, March 11, 2020 the Adams County Commissioners held a meeting in which Dr. Alexander Brenzy, Grant and Adams County Health Officer presented on the evolving COVID-19 outbreak currently impacting Washington State. Representatives from the Othello Sandhill Crane Festival, City of Othello, Adams County Emergency Management, Adams County Sheriff’s Office, Columbia Basin Health Association, and Othello School District were in attendance, among other agencies. The discussion revolved around the evolving COVID-19 outbreak caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus. The official recommendation of Dr. Brenzy was to cancel the 2020 Othello Sandhill Crane Festival as a proactive step out of an abundance of caution in order to protect the health of both Festival attendees and the local population, in addition to doing our utmost to limit the virus’ further immediate spread into Eastern Washington State. Officials tracing and modeling the spread of COVID-19 believe that it is actively spreading in the United States through large gatherings of people, among several other routes. The Festival would not have allowed for adequate social distancing measures, which are now regarded as critical to slowing the virus’ spread.
We know this will disappoint many who’ve looked forward to this Festival. We are disappointed as well, but the health of the greater community is too important to risk. Full refunds will be issued to every person who placed an order for tickets to the Festival. This will be an ongoing process to issue and mail these refunds to everyone. We will do our best to credit your credit card used for the initial purchase. If that is not possible, we will mail you a check.
2020 would have been the 23rd annual Othello Sandhill Crane Festival, an event that is put together annually through the effort of hundreds of volunteers. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit which has completely depleted our reserve funds and incurred debt preparing for the Festival that was supposed to take place next week. Some individuals who cancelled their ticket purchases earlier this month made the thoughtful and very much appreciated decision to donate the amount of their ticket purchase to the Festival (by asking for a partial or no refund). If you would like to do the same, to help enable this great annual event to continue next year and beyond, you are certainly welcome to do so. All donations are completely voluntary and fully tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. If you are interested in making a donation to the Festival, please contact us via email at othellocranefest(at)gmail.com or via phone at (509) 989-5606 and let us know. We can deduct the donation from your refund and/or will gladly accept donations mailed to: Othello Sandhill Crane Festival, P.O. Box 542, Othello, WA 99344.. Please join us March 19-21, 2021.