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KC RiverFest 2020: Cancelled

This year we find ourselves unable to gather together as a community to celebrate our nation and to honor our troops, our first responders and their families at KC Riverfest this 4th of July on Independence Day.

Yes, patriotism is important. Especially now, as we each feel isolated and many of us alone. We are reminded that patriotism is not who has the biggest and boldest flag or who waves it the highest and the hardest. Patriotism is diligently working and striving for a better, healthier, more substantial tomorrow. Additionally, we are reminded that while freedom may offer us the right to do as we please, it also provides us the opportunity to stand up and to do what is right.

Friends of the River KC (FOR_KC) has spent these past nine months planning our 15th year of KC Riverfest. We are incredibly excited to reach this milestone for our community-wide event. Even across these past few months, we have continued to still cautiously work through new ideas and variations based on everchanging health protocols and safety measures.

The decision for cancellation was made as our elected leaders, and a host of health professionals, are cautiously deliberating to formulate a clear picture of what future gatherings entail. No one has a crystal ball here, and there is no playbook. Providing a safe and healthy environment is crucial now more than ever before. Our decision was not reached without weighing the impact on the multitude of entertainers, vendors, volunteers, partners, sponsors, charities, as well as the municipalities involved.

To our musicians, our entertainers, our local restaurants, our production teams, and our charity partners, we know this leaves you with a financial hole. You are a small business. You are local. You are the face of our festival. You do so much for our city, and we know you had budgeted for and counted on this day and our event financially.

As the City of Kansas City Missouri's July 4th celebration, we thank them for their unwavering support at all levels. They do so much behind the scenes to keep this a festival for all parts and every neighborhood of our metro and well beyond our boundaries. We also thank the Kansas City Police Department, Kansas City Fire Department, the Levee District, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Coast Guard, and especially our longtime friends Port KC. Port KC graciously provides their green spaces to not only us but all residents and visitors to Kansas City, and we would be nothing without their team and their board of directors.

"We The People" temporarily cannot gather together in large numbers to celebrate America. But never forget that YOU are the Declaration of Independence. YOU are the Star-Spangled Banner. YOU are the Rockets Red Glare. YOU are the Pledge of Allegiance. YOU are the 4th of July. YOU are the American Spirit. YOU are One Nation. YOU are Kansas City.

We do not need a party to tell us that. Be safe. Be strong. Be a friend.

Friends of the River, KC

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