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Boatnik is back on

KTVL file photo

GRANTS PASS — The annual Boatnik Festival is back on for the 2021 season after the event was canceled less than two weeks ago.

"We were able to get everything into place with permits and all of that, and have got Davis Shows on board, and we're ready to run with it now," Charlie Simons, co-chairman for the marketing committee with the Grants Pass Active Club (GPAC), said.

Simons said it is still going to still look a bit different this year due to restrictions. There will be fewer rides that will be spread out, no drag boats or sprint boats, and no concert.

"We're having less vendors," Simons said. "We're not having any commercial vendors - the vendors that sell physical goods. The only vendors that will be there will be the food vendors."

Simons said masks will not be required because the event takes place outside, and there is room for social distancing. He said GPAC is working closely with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the city, and the county to understand what is or is not allowed to hold the event through the pandemic.

Simons said it isn't about holding a normal Boatnik; what it comes down to is the fundraiser the event is all about.

"We are a non-profit organization to raise money for kids in our community," Simons said. "To be able to have that and to support our community, we're ecstatic about that."

The event typically takes months to organize, and Simons said it won't be easy throwing it together in less than two weeks. The event will run from Thursday, May 27, to Monday, May 30.

"It will be difficult. But at the same time, we have been doing this for more than 60 years," Simons said. "We know what has to be done. We have connections with people to get things done, and we have the support of our community."

Simons said GPAC appreciates the support they have already seen from the community. Their Facebook post on May 17 has reached over 40,000 views.

"Thank you so much for that support; continue to help us promote it, and we're looking forward to it," Simons said.