The Wings Over the Prairie Festival and World Champion Duck Calling Contest in Stuttgart has been cancelled for 2020 because of the “ever-evolving COVID-19 crisis,” the city’s Chamber of Commerce announced on Thursday.
The annual event, which began with a duck calling contest in 1936, draws tens of thousands to Stuttgart each fall. This year’s festivities were scheduled to begin Nov. 21 and set to include the duck calling championship, a 10K race, a duck gumbo contest, exhibits, rides and a carnival.
“This was one of the hardest decisions the chamber and the board has ahd to make,” Bethany Hildebrand, CEO of the Stuttgart Chamber said in a statement. “Knowing the rich history and tradition behind the festival I can assure you this decision was not made lightly or without extensive conversation amongst the board, community groups and leaders. However, the health and safety of the community is much more important to us.”
Hildebrand added that the event is expected to return in 2021. Festival chairman Bill Free said the Great Duck Race 10K will be held virtually this year.