Courtesy of The Tallahassee Museum
TALLAHASSEE, Fla — In a proactive effort to minimize COVID-19 exposure and potential spread, the Tallahassee Museum announced today that based on an abundance of caution, they had canceled all significant fall fundraising events. These events include Halloween Howl, Zoobilee, and, unfortunately, one of the Tallahassee region’s most treasured and highly anticipated events of the season, Market Days. The decision to cancel these events did not come easily. It will have a significant consequence on the Tallahassee Museum’s budget and the economic impact these events provide to our community.
“First and foremost, we are thankful for everyone’s desire to participate in this year’s events, particularly Market Days. All proceeds from these fundraising events support the Tallahassee Museum’s mission to inspire people to transform their lives, community, and the world through an enhanced understanding of our region’s natural and cultural environments,” said Rebekka Wade, COO for Tallahassee Museum. “The decision to cancel Market Days was especially difficult. Since its inception more than 50 years ago, we have not canceled Market Days, even in the days immediately following Hurricane Kate in 1985.”
After much consideration, the Tallahassee Museum and Market Days committee decided that for the health and wellbeing of the vendors, shoppers, volunteers, and staff, they have no choice but to cancel Market Days 2020. Wade said, “As heart-wrenching as this decision is to us, we also know that it only further compounds the devastating year for our artisans. So many of them have already experienced extensive show cancellations across the country. Our hearts genuinely go out to our vendors. We can only hope that the year ahead promises better times for us all.”
“We are incredibly proud to host Market Days in our community and are disappointed that current circumstances prevent us from providing unique, handmade creations,” said Kay Cunningham, Market Days Arts & Crafts Chair. “The decision was incredibly difficult in light of the recent selection of Market Days as being one of the top traditional arts, and crafts shows in the country!
We look forward to returning next year with the same high-level artists and top-quality craftspeople from some of the finest artisans from around the country.”
“While the Museum is confident it is making the right decision, it will regrettably and significantly impact the Museum’s operating budget and services to the community. Fortunately, the support the Museum has previously received from its donors, members, and friends has helped temper previous COVID-19 related budgetary impacts, and we hope this support continues as the Museum tries to move forward,” shared Russell Daws, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tallahassee Museum.
Halloween Howl 2020 was scheduled for October 23rd and 24th and Zoobilee 2020 was scheduled for November 13th.
Market Days 2020 initially scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, December 5th and 6th and has taken place for the last 55 years as one of the Southeast’s most extensive and best-juried arts and crafts shows as well as the Museum’s largest annual fundraiser. Filling six of the large fairgrounds’ buildings and outdoor plazas and medians, Market Days offers a vast array of works from breathtaking fine art to charming stocking stuffers and handmade creations of more than 300 artists and is attended by nearly 15,000 people annually.
To ensure access to Market Days vendors, Tallahassee Museum plans to set up a website with “Virtual Market Days,” allowing visitors to peruse items and ultimately promote online sales, encouraging visitors to keep informed as new information is released.