Festival Tickets go on sale Sept. 27, 2021 and are $30 per night or $50 for both nights. Online purchases at Friends of Historic Boonville or the
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The Missouri River rolls along under the bridges, and hawks and eagles survey the bottoms below unaware that our Covid saga continues and we try to cope. Early this year we discussed options of outdoors in the summer and indoors in the fall. Surely by November, we thought, the vaccine would have brought us back to something like normal, and Thespian Hall is at the heart of our festival. We thought something similar in March 2020 when we cancelled it then. It appears now that with vaccination resistance our new normal could be more extended and worse than most of us had hoped. We canít just stop doing all the things we love to do together; weíre just going to have to do them in a more deliberate and careful way, especially gathering for a Big Muddy Folk Festival inside our lovely historic theater.
Since the beginning of the pandemic a vaccine has been understood to be the best solution to contain and stop the virus. Vaccinated people have a very low chance of getting the virus, getting very sick from it or passing it on to others. Our current decision is to require proof of vaccination or a current negative antigen test to attend. Masks will be required while indoors at any of our venues and will protect younger children who are ineligible for the vaccine and others with immune system issues. We will have a table out front of the hall where you can show your vaccination card or test results. Masks and hand sanitizer will be available inside. Dance communities all over the nation, like our Mid Missouri Traditional Dancers, have suffered to cancel events and long to dance in person again, but most have concluded the risk is too high, so we will forgo our regular Friday evening contra dance. We will not be using Turner Hall, and mid-November weather is generally not conducive for a barbecue. For workshops we will make most use of our higher ceiling venues like Thespian Hall and the sanctuaries of the First Presbyterian and Christ Episcopal churches.
Itís hard to know what to do, especially when the status of the pandemic changes nationwide and in individual states, and it can be challenging to understand the nature of the virus, the effects of the vaccines and assess risk. Artists we have contacted express concern for their own safety and health and welcome our requirements. In lieu of any state or local mandates, we will go by CDC recommendations and guidelines and monitor local case numbers and hospital capacities. Please consult our websites, bigmuddy.org and www.friendsofhistoricboonville.org for updates, as the situation could change by the time you read this. Other festivals have canceled for a second time, and itís possible we may have to do the same for a 2021 Big Muddy and again refund tickets. The notion of honoring our late Cathy Barton Para with a super spreader event is particularly abhorrent. I donít think a pandemic is a matter of private choice; thatís why itís called a pandemic for which individual choices can affect everyone. For those choosing to opt out of vaccination we hope for a better day when our festival can welcome you back; likewise, if our restrictions are not tight enough we hope for the same future together.
At Thespian Hall we will host artists who have been festival friends of Cathyís and shared her musical journey with laughter and love. Each evening will begin with musical tributes to her, including cast members of ďGumbo Bottoms: A Big Muddy Musical,Ē singing some of the songs she wrote for the show. Dave Para and other friends will sing some of Cathyís original songs or her favorites.
Archives of previous festivals