The Ames City Council announced that the Fourth of July parade, fireworks and pancake breakfast are canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Members of the Council unanimously voted to cancel events that take place on city property, with the exception of the farmer’s market. This includes Rummage RAMPage, Block Party Trailer Reservations, Ames Municipal Bands concerts, Roosevelt Summer Sunday concerts and Ames Velo had been canceled.
“The benefit is we're trying to prevent a surge or an outbreak of the virus,” said Ames Manager Steve Schainker. “If you think that's overstated or it's not going to happen, then it’s not worth the loss, the benefits have to exceed the loss. There will be a loss, you have to feel comfortable what you're doing here.”
The Council moved to allow the parks and recreation staff to use the evaluation criteria to make decisions related to parks and recreation programs. In regards to opening up Furman Aquatic Center, the Council moved to wait two more weeks to make a decision.
The evaluation criteria for each event or department can be found through the city agenda.
The Council also moved to allow city staff to determine when the ice arena opens and its capacity.
The Council approved to allow the Ames Main Street Farmer’s Market, with no food trucks, no food prepared on-site hot or cold and no alcohol or wine tasting. The city of Ames will not enforce the farmer’s market safety guidelines and practices, though the city reserves the right to rescind the permit.
According to city documents, the reason why Ames has been largely spared from significant COVID-19 case numbers is partly because of Iowa State’s decision to move classes online and if the community faces a rise in case numbers generated from events during the summer, it may have impacts on Iowa State's ability to resume classes in the fall.
Ward 1 Rep. Tim Gartin said the Council needs to take a more conservative approach in order to protect Iowa State.
“We have businesses. their model, they're okay with during the summer without students,” Gartin said. “They can't do a summer and a fall without students. So the implications will be vast. And so we're going to make decisions differently than a Newton or Marshalltown because they have a different dynamic. [...] I'm supporting this motion. We have to protect this university.”