May 12, 2020

    Specific Impacts to 2020 Recreation Events, Tournaments, and Facility and Playfield Rentals in Burlington

    BURLINGTON, WA—May 12, 2020   The City of Burlington announces cancellation of the following spring and summer 2020 Burlington Recreation events and programs:
    Community Events | Spring & Summer 2020
    All-Comers Track Meets
    Burlington Summer Nights
    Community Gear Swap
    Kids Giant Garage Sale
    Night Fireworks @ Berry Dairy Days
    Outdoor Movie in the Park
    Scrapbooking & Craft Supply Sale
    Recreation Programming | Summer 2020
    KidQuest Summer Camps
    Contracted Sports & Athletic Camps
    Classes and Fitness/Outdoor Programs
    Recommendations and guidelines from federal and state agencies inform the decision to cancel. 
    “I expect that the remainder of 2020 will be unique and challenging for everyone, and this includes challenges for our city and its Recreation division,” says Interim Recreation Director Sarah Ward. “The city is doing its best to make decisions that support the personal safety of its citizens.”
    “Our small and mighty Recreation team at the city of Burlington works hard to bring the community these positive and enriching events each year,” says Recreation Specialist Abigail Early. “We like to consider what we do essential to quality of life in Burlington and Skagit, and we understand that this year is a unique exception.”
    The cancelled events and programs are managed by Burlington Recreation department. Two full-time and two part-time support staff make up the Recreation branch of Burlington Parks & Recreation, in addition to Interim Recreation Director Sarah Ward. All four staff have been furloughed through August 14, 2020.
    Burlington Recreation staff looks forward to their return and to connecting with you in the fall,” says the department’s Administrative Specialist Shelley Johnstone. “Upon our return, we will look at how to adapt our future programming to best serve the health and safety of all community members,” adds Christi Kinney, Recreation Coordinator.
    Impacts of the crisis have resulted in additional temporary changes to the city’s Parks & Recreation services: 
    • All Rental Facilities are closed through August 31. This includes rentals of the Burlington Community/Senior Center, the Maiben House, the Parks & Recreation Center and picnic shelters in city parks.
    • City of Burlington playfields are closed to organized use through August 31. Tournament events resume after September 30. Applications for new playfield reservations will be accepted for events on/after September 1.
    Closing a yet-determined revenue gap anticipated to impact financial decisions through the end of 2020 also informs these temporary changes to city services and staffing.
    “Burlington, like many other cities impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, must navigate forward through some difficult decisions,” says Burlington Mayor Steve Sexton.
    “We could not have anticipated the wide-reaching financial and social impact of the COVID-19 crisis on our community. The decision to cancel events, programs and playfield access, and resulting furlough of our recreation staff does not come lightly. This crisis is a time to come together in appreciation for all that makes us a community,” says Mayor Steve Sexton.
    Incorporated in 1902, built at the crossing of two major railways and a booming timber industry, today’s Burlington booms with more than 800 businesses - including 100 places to shop and 90 places to eat - along with 12 city parks and five hotels to form a city center that attracts 45,000 to 60,000 visitors daily.
    Burlington’s 80-acre Skagit River Park offers one of the largest grass field complexes in Washington state, and, in non-COVID-years, hosts up to 45 tournaments and eight leagues each year. For the last seventeen years, the city has hosted the only festival of its kind on the west coast, the annual Burlington Pumpkin Pitch & Harvest Festival. https://burlingtonwa.gov
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