Northern Johnson County cities cancel, postpone special events this fall

Cities across northern Johnson County have canceled several special events for the rest of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Above, a file photo of the Shawnee Scarecrow Festival.

Several cities in northern Johnson County have canceled or postponed special events this fall. Other events are now reconfigured to accommodate the health and safety of participants during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s the latest from some of the cities:

Fairway

Fairway has canceled Trail of Tricks & Treats, the city’s largest event, as well as Cane Cocoa and a Claus, an event in December.

Nathan Nogelmeier, city administrator, said city staff is working on offering an outdoor movie along with a few other smaller programs and events that can be safely facilitated during the pandemic.

Leawood

Leawood has no special event cancellations to report at this time.

Lenexa

Lenexa has a mix of cancellations and now-virtual events lined up for the rest of 2020.

The city has canceled the following special events:

  • Food Truck Frenzy, Sept. 19
  • Chili Challenge, Oct. 9-10
  • City Center Live
  • Enchanted Forest, Oct. 29

Lenexa has also canceled the remainder of the City Center Live performing art series events with Johnson County Library and the Lenexa Arts Council.

The city is now hosting the following events:

  • A virtual version of Spinach Festival, Sept. 5-12 via Facebook
  • Outdoor Concert Series, Aug. 30 through Oct. 11 at Sar-Ko-Park Trails Park
  • Fall-O-Ween Yard Tour, Oct. 21-31 for homes and businsesses

Sar-Ko-Park Trails Park will still be lit up this year for Sar-Ko Aglow, although the city may plan a virtual lighting ceremony to avoid the large crowds this annual event attracts.

Merriam

Three of Merriam’s special events are now canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Merriam Drive Live and Merriam Drive Live 5K Run/Walk, which were both scheduled for Oct. 3
  • The Fall Recycling Event scheduled for Oct. 17

Merriam will still host its Large-Item Pickup event Oct. 19-23.

Visit merriam.org/covid19 for updates and other event cancellations.

Mission

Mission has no fall event cancellations. Emily Randel, assistant to the city administrator, said city staff is “still reimagining what we might do for the remainder of the year.”

The Mission Business District is hosting its second sidewalk sale of the year as scheduled, 10-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19 on Johnson Drive.

Overland Park

Overland Park has canceled the following events this fall:

  • Fall Festival and parade
  • Recycling Extravaganza for September
  • Pumpkin Hollow, a month-long event in October
  • Night of the Living Farm, which was slated for several October dates at the Deanna Rose Farmstead

Sean Reilly, city spokesman, said the annual Nutcracker Tea Party in December has also been canceled.

The Deanna Rose Farmstead is also closed for the season.

“Future events are subject to change due to the changing COVID-19 situation,” Reilly said.

Prairie Village

Prairie Village in June decided to cancel its JazzFest, which typically occurs in early September. The city has no other updates at this time.

Roeland Park

Roeland Park decided in July to cancel The 47 Neighborhood Foodie Fest this year.

Jennifer Jones-Lacy, assistant city administrator and finance director, said city staff and leaders are in discussions about the status of other fall events.

Shawnee

Shawnee has canceled its special events for the remainder of the year, including Christkindlmarkt, which was scheduled for Dec. 5.

Here’s the list of canceled special events:

  • Friends of Shawnee Town Craft Fair, Sept. 19
  • 26th Annual Great Grillers Blues & Barbeque, Sept. 25-26
  • Scarecrow Festival, Oct. 3
  • Fall Recycling and Shred Event, Oct. 17
  • Historical Hauntings, Oct. 24

The city has also postponed its annual Tour de Shawnee to May 2021.

The Shawnee Rotary Club has canceled the Shawnee Rotary Bike Rodeo, its annual service project for bike safety and maintenance.

Note: This story has been updated to reflect the recent cancellation of the Overland Park Fall Festival.