NewsMissoula County


COVID-19 concerns prompt changes in downtown Missoula events

Out to Lunch, Downtown Tonight canceled
Out to Lunch
Posted at 8:48 AM, Jun 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-12 11:07:57-04

MISSOULA — The Missoula Downtown Association has canceled Downtown Tonight and Out to Lunch for the summer.

Officials say it would be too difficult to enforce social distancing guidelines -- and track contacts if someone did get sick -- in the open atmosphere of Caras Park.

But, the MDA is implementing a new program that will make it easier to follow health guidelines. Downtown Missoula pop-ups will be a smaller version of the events -- with fewer vendors, no music, and no children's activities.

MDA says canceling the traditional Out to Lunch and Downtown Tonight' events means losing about $400,000 in revenue.

"Those programs do help fund a lot of our non-revenue generating programs downtown, so there is some concern about that," said Missoula Downtown Partnership executive director Linda McCarthy. "But again, the safety and well being of our community continues to be priority one."

The pop-ups will start on Tuesday, June 16, and will continue on Wednesdays and Thursdays.