As we move into the last half of 2020, there are still so many unknowns concerning COVID-19; as we have seen, time marches on and so must we, lest we risk missing out on life and all of the joys it holds.

After consultation with our local officials and following guidance from our governor, to ensure that we are following best practices to keep participants and visitors safe, I feel confident at this point that we can move forward with our Southwest Missouri Celtic Heritage Festival & Highland Games set for Sept. 11 and 12.

We ask everyone to follow the safety measures that make you feel safe and please be respectful of what others feel is safe for them. Because our festival is outdoors, masks will not be required, but are welcome.

The bottom line is, we are asking everyone to do what makes them feel safe; if you do not feel comfortable attending this year’s festival, we understand and respect your decision. We hope to see you again in 2021.

If you are sick or do not feel well at festival time, as much as we'd love to see you this year, we ask that you please take care of yourself and others and do not attend.

We look forward to seeing you all in September!

Tanya Watson is the executive director of the Buffalo Area Chamber of Commerce. For more information about the Celtic Heritage Festival, contact her at buffalochamber@gmail.com or call the chamber office at (417) 345-2852.

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