16th annual Driftless Art Festival canceled

The 16th annual Driftless Art Festival, originally set for Sept. 19–20, has been canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  

The Driftless Area Art Festival first opened in 2004 in Ferryville, Wis., as the Crawford County Art Festival. Since then, it relocated to Soldiers Grove and widened its umbrella to include artists and art lovers from throughout the Driftless Region. Events featured up to 80 artists and attracted crowds over 5,000. 

The decision to cancel was not an easy one, said committee co-chair Anita Tegen, because of the economic impact to everyone involved with the festival, including artists, culinary artists, schools, businesses and the local community. 

“As a committee, we discussed continuing the planning and expenses of moving forward with this year’s event in these uncertain times. We know many people were already anticipating and preparing for the event,” co-chair Phil Tegen said.   

But the planning committee recognized the challenges and potential risks involved when large crowds interact in limited spaces. “It was a difficult decision, but unanimous among the members of the planning committee,” said Lori Bekkum, festival coordinator.

Although the physical event will not take place this year, the 2020 artists will continue to be highlighted and celebrated via the festival’s website, www.driftlessareaartfestival.com, and on its Facebook and Instagram platforms.  

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