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Canceled events due to COVID-19 brings fewer tourists this summer to downtown Polson

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Posted at 5:43 PM, Jul 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-04 12:37:49-04

POLSON — Popular events in Polson including the Fourth of July parade, Cherry Festival and 3-on-3 basketball tournament have either been canceled or postponed this summer due to the coronavirus pandemic.

These events normally bring thousands of tourists into downtown Polson each summer.

The Cove Deli and Pizza co-owner, Ken Avison, said his restaurant relies heavily on summer tourism. He says the reopening of Glacier National Park and the attraction of Flathead Lake should still bring in a large number of visitors this summer.

“I guess it’s a wait and see and hope that we will have tourists as well, which I think we will, but those are big days for Polson.” said Avison.

Polson Chamber of Commerce Office Manager Carol Cunningham said it was a hard decision for board members to cancel popular summer events. She says the health and safety of Polson residents was the deciding factor.

“We care more about the people than we do the festivities, they really struggled with it and I really admire how they came up with their decision,” said Cunningham.

Cunningham said the Polson Chamber of Commerce is thinking outside of the box, coming up with different ways to help out small business owners during uncertain times.

“Working on some grants to promote businesses by creating videos for them, and getting some mini grants to help them with some extra expenses they weren’t expecting,” said Cunningham.

Avison says he’s staying optimistic, hoping local residents support small business owners as much as they can.

“This is 17 years here for us, never seen anything like it but no one else has either, so on we go and up we go,” said Avison.