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Weed's 66th Carnevale is tentatively 'a go'

Kelsey Shelton
People play bocce ball with the carnival rides in the background at the 2018 Carnevale, which has been a tradition in Weed for 65 years.

WEED – COVID-19 has led to the cancelation of countless beloved events: the Siskiyou Golden Fair, Mount Shasta’s Fourth of July celebration, even the California State Fair in Sacramento won’t happen this year.

The City of Weed has decided not to cancel the 66th annual Carnevale celebration if they can help it. Traditionally held over the second weekend in July, this year's event will likely be postponed until Aug. 13 and run through Aug. 16. The Weed Carnevale Committee will continue to discuss options at their next meeting scheduled for sometime in early July.

While there’s still a possibility the longstanding tradition won’t come together in 2020, Kim Greene, Weed city council member and member of the Carnevale Committee announced it will most likely happen.

The focus of this year’s Carnevale will be on the tournaments: bocce, horseshoes, and softball.

“And we are currently looking for someone to take the lead in setting up a cornhole tournament,” said Greene.

“We hope that by then we will be able to have a carnival company, and be able to get an event liquor license,” said Greene.

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recent moratorium on event licenses could hinder vendor and alcohol sales, which means the Weed Rotary and the city’s beer and wine booths could miss out big fundraisers.

Food vendors will also be limited because many of Carnevale's food booths are run by high schoolers.

“A lot of the school groups aren’t allowing students to participate” this year, Greene said.

The annual Top of the State race, which generally accompanies the Carnevale event, has been canceled. Other traditions, like music throughout the day and the parade could still happen with social distancing between family groups.

“We have to follow any state guidelines, and they’ll (Carnival operators) have their own guidelines to follow too,” Greene said, stressing that people are encouraged to stay 6 feet or more apart and wear a mask.

With only a few members of the community openly stating concerns, Greene feels confident that the Chamber will make the right choice.

“We expect people to be adults and make their own decisions. If you feel safe, come. If you want to wear a mask or gloves, do it. If you don’t come, it’s your decision,” she said.