54th  ANNUAL DEER FESTIVAL and 23rd ANNUAL DEER DASH
CANCELED AS OF September 30th, 2020
Saturday, November 7, 2020

Below is the Press Release about the cancelation from The Monticello News:
 
The Monticello-Jasper County Chamber of Commerce (COC) Board of Directors voted on Haunticello, Deer Festival and Deer Dash 5K at a called meeting Tuesday, after a meeting of county stakeholders last week.
The outcome of the votes is as follows: Haunticello will be a drive-through event this year. Locations and maps will be announced and more information will come out to the public.
Deer Festival is canceled moving forward to next year’s on November 6, 2021. The Deer Dash 5K will be held virtually with more information to come. The Chamber Board of Directors understands this is not ideal for the community. This does keep our families safe and that is the main concern at this time.
The Board of Directors appreciates the community understanding this decision that wasn’t made easily.
COC Executive Director Mandi Tanner met with community front line essential workers and community leaders to discuss the upcoming community wide events. Stakeholders that were in attendance were Department of Public Health, Jasper County Sheriff Office, Jasper County Fire Chief, Jasper County Health Services Administrator, Mayor Pro-Tem, Bulldog Gym and Deer Dash Organizer, Venture Medical Associates, Board of Commissioners Chair, Artisans from Market on the Square and Deer Festival.
The round table discussions were professional and heartfelt. First and foremost, the safety of the students and families was the main concern during the conversation. The community is agreeance that keeping our students and families safe is the priority for the upcoming events. 
Jasper County Health Services is focusing on keeping staff safe and testing frequently. The drive-through testing site is testing at least 60 people a day with the rapid testing. The focus was on trying to limit the spread within Jasper County in order to open up The Retreat Nursing Home for families to hug their loved ones they haven’t been able to touch since February. At the time of the meeting, there were no COVID-19 cases in the nursing home. 
Since the meeting, two confirmed staff members and two residents have COVID-19. The hospital is doing everything it can to keep the staff and residents safe. Holding large events that bring in large numbers of people from neighboring counties and people across the state puts Jasper County at a high risk of having a spike in COVID-19 numbers. 
Jasper County has lost important leaders of our community due to COVID-19. The spread of COVID-19 is lowering in our county due to the precautions the businesses, school systems, hospital and doctor offices have set in place.
The 54th Annual Deer Festival/Deer Dash 5k was discussed,. This event brings 5,500 people a year to the community. The event typically has 130 vendors and requires 50 percent of the JCSO/JCFD and multiple volunteers to be present from 6am-7pm.  Again, the main concern is keeping our community safe from visitors from other communities that have higher COVID-19 cases. 
After hearing that if any of the front line workers (Fire/EMS/Officers/hospital employees) were to get a positive COVID-19 test, the entire task force would be effected, made the board really ask themselves if they are willing to hold this festival.
 

55th Annual Deer Festival and 24th Annual Deer Dash
Saturday, November 6th, 2021
8am – 5pm
 
We invite you to join us for our 55th Annual Deer Festival.  We accept handmade/homemade arts and crafts, non-craft specialty items, festival food booths, informational booths, children’s activity booths.  We sell our spaces all year long.  Spaces are assigned by the order the applications are received.   Send your application in early…!
 
~Applications will be released in January 2021~
 
Art & Craft: Space is 10×12.  $65.00
Handmade, handcrafted, no buy and sale.
 
Non-Craft Specialty Items: Space size is 10×12.  $65.00  
We try to limit the non-craft specialty items and only have one vendor of each non-craft. Example – we would not have two tupperware booths.  Non-craft specialty items include specialty items, pre-packaged items (sealed), items that cannot be found in a retail store.  Collectibles and Antiques are allowed.
 
Food Court:  Spaces are limited to 15.  Space size is 12×14. $250.00     
We have a designated food court area.  The fee covers your food permit for the day.  Food is to be prepared on site.
 
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SEND IN YOUR FESTIVAL APPLICATION…
We have a total of 130+ spaces available – 88 are on the immediate Square.
We sell spaces throughout the year.  They are assigned as the applications arrive – on a first come request basis…
 

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55th Annual Deer Festival Insert Contact Jenny Murphy   706-468-6511   advertising@themonticellonews.com