The coronavirus pandemic has forced cancellation of a number of Manning celebrations — 137th annual Kinderfest, Party on the Bricks and the Alumni Association’s all-high school reunion.
Kinderfest was slated for this past Saturday, June 20, while Party on the Bricks and the reunion were set for Memorial Day weekend.
Anna Irlbeck of the Kinderfest Committee and Ron Reischl of Party on the Bricks said the cancellations means they are now determined to have extra special celebrations next June 19.
Irlbeck said of the committee’s decision to call off Kinderfest, “We solely run off donations, and there’s no way during this time we can ask businesses and families to donate money toward our events, and plus we had no idea what the capacity would be for people in the park.”
State guidelines still urge social distancing.
Reischl said, “Due to COVID-19 restrictions, both (Party on the Bricks and the alumni reunion) were rescheduled to coincide with Kinderfest in June 2021. Another catalyst to cancel was the feared lack of sponsors. We rely heavily on businesses to sponsor/underwrite the expenses. We feared that is not possible this year with many businesses being greatly affected by COVID-19. For 2021, we hope to solicit alumni sponsors rather than businesses.”
All proceeds generated by Kinderfest go to put on the next year’s event.
In addition a number of different community organizations — such as church, 4-H, swim team — have offered games and concessions at Kinderfest in order to raise funds.
Kinderfest, which spotlight’s the community’s German heritage, is believed to be the longest-running heritage celebration in Iowa.
The first Party on the Bricks was held in 2015, and it celebrated the 100th birthday of Manning’s Main Street bricks and 101st birthday of the Milwaukee Railroad Trestle. The event was also used the event to recognize all century businesses in Manning.
Music headliner for Party on the Bricks will be Manning-area native Brad Morgan, an award-winning country music artist and songwriter. Opening for Morgan will be the band Aged Spirits from Templeton.