Event Organizers Worry About Restrictions Again As the Delta Variant Creeps into the Tri-State

Event restrictions could return as the tri-state losens its foothold in the fight to stamp out the coronavirus, with the Delta variant now the dominant strain, contracted in patients across the trip-state.

Posted: Jul 20, 2021 11:06 PM
Updated: Jul 20, 2021 11:15 PM

ZZ Top was supposed to play at the Ford Center Wednesday night. And while the concert was canceled due to a band member's health condition, with no clear word if it's Covid-19 related, it's got other event organizers worried the virus could shut down their own events once again. 

For Joe Notter with Evansville Events, that's not an option.

"We're expecting a pretty big crowd this weekend," he said about the upcoming Evansville Wing and Music Festival.

The food festival was already pushed back this year from January to July, with the goal of making sure people could safely get together and enjoy the various flavors of wings.

And while Covid-19 cases are on the rise again, with the Delta strain in the tri-state, that is still the plan for this weekend.

"We have so much momentum moving into this weekend that it would be really difficult for us," Notter said. "And we'd probably upset more people than if we canceled it."

While the event is supposed to take place both indoors and outdoors at Veterans Memorial Coliseum, the organizer is prepared to move it all outside if necessary.

"We've done a lot of events during Covid," Notter said. "So, this isn't anything new to this. I believe with the outside component, that it will create a friendly environment for those who might be a little bit cautious."

And health officials say while there are currently no restrictions on indoor events, outdoors is still the safest bet.

"When you're outside, the ventilation is better, you don't come in as close contact with someone if they sneeze or cough," said Joe Gries, administrator for the Vanderburgh County Health Department. "That airflow is a lot better. It protects people from spreading those and sharing those germs."

The health department will be at Wing Fest for inspection. 

While people are encouraged to wear masks if they choose, there will be hand sanitizing stations set up.

And of course dozens of wings to try.

"We're really grateful to getting back to what we do best," Notter said. "And bringing people together."

Tickets for the ZZ Top show at the Ford Center will be refunded.

There is no word yet on if the show will be rescheduled.

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The combination of sunshine and southerly winds will make for another abnormally mild day throughout the Ohio Valley - expect an afternoon high temperature near 69° this afternoon. Friday evening looks as though it will be just as pleasant; after seeing the upper 60s earlier in the day, we'll dip to 60° by 5 PM before falling towards 54° around 7 o’clock. We are however, watching a passing low pressure system and accompanying cold front that is expected to pass through the Tri-State late Friday evening and early Saturday morning.
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