Empire Asparagus Festival canceled. Other events may follow suit

From staff reports

The Empire Asparagus Festival—originally scheduled for May 15-16 in downtown Empire—has been canceled, festival organizer Paul Skinner told the Glen Arbor Sun.

Since the asparagus growing season typically only lasts 6 weeks, from early May until late June, Skinner considers it highly unlikely that he could move the annual festival to late summer or fall.

Other popular Leelanau County events have postponed until the fall. The Cedar Polka Festival will be moved from mid-June to September 17-20, 2020.

Two bands scheduled to perform at the Asparagus Festival called Skinner a week ago to cancel, as they are unable to gather and rehearse. Michigan, and much of the nation, are under a stay-at-home order to promote social distancing and limit spread of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

The Glen Lake Chamber of Commerce’s Restaurant Week, originally scheduled for April 24-May 2 has also been canceled.

The M22 Challenge, scheduled for Saturday, June 13, is also in doubt. A decision will be made by May 1. M22 Challenge co-founder Keegan Myers issued the following statement:

“Our top priority has always been the safety of our athletes. With this in mind, we have been monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation to come up with the best solution for the 2020 M22 Challenge. We are evaluating every possible scenario and will inform you of our decision by May 1, 2020. In this time of uncertainty, we hope you are able to continue with your training in order to keep your mind and body strong. Thank you for your patience and understanding.”

Other popular annual events on the bubble include the Leland Artscape Artwalk (June 12) and Leland Wine & Food Festival (June 13).

A Manitou Winds concert scheduled for May 2 at the Glen Lake Community Reformed Church—as part of the Glen Arbor Arts Center’s Manitou Music Festival—has been postponed. The Manitou Music Festival is scheduled to resume, in earnest, on July 1.

Stay tuned for more news about upcoming Leelanau County events.