Board votes to cancel 2020 Mill Festival

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The Carroll County Historical Society’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously at the June 24 meeting to cancel the 2020 Algonquin Mill Festival, scheduled for the second weekend in October.
It was to be the 50th presentation of the annual event held every year since 1971.
Discussion about what should be done has been ongoing among society officers and members. “Many of the festival’s partners in the Mill’s numerous features were contacted and asked for their opinions about the feasibility and safety of conducting this kind of enjoyable public gathering during the uncertainties caused by the current viral pandemic,” Jennifer Cramer, board president said. “All of these points of view were considered in the board’s decision to not hold the Mill Festival this year.”
While Carroll County has had a relatively low incidence of coronavirus infections so far, the Mill draws visitors from all around Ohio and several other states. Some of these may be locations where the virus is possibly more prevalent. The density of the crowds the festival often attracts are similar to those types of gatherings that have recently been associated with increased reports of COVID-19 cases.
Governor Mike DeWine’s “Ohio COVID-19 Responsible RestartOhio” plan has mandatory restrictions regarding large gatherings, food concessions, physical contact, sanitation and campgrounds that could make holding the festival practically impossible.
At the very least the plan would mandate changes to the way we held the festival in the past. Attempting our event this year would be so fraught with unknowns, be unwise, risky and not even much fun, which has always been the main reason for doing it.
The McCook House Museum in Carrollton will also remain closed for the rest of the season.

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