PRINCETON — Thursday morning’s Gibson County Visitors & Tourism, Inc. meeting included updates from county organizations as they work through re-opening and planning for potential events.
Lyles Station is not yet open to public visitors, but Stanley Madison reported Thursday that they are working with 4-H students and their garden, as well has laying out demo plots in preparation for opening up down the road.
Madison also thanked the organization for its awarding of grant funds to Lyles Station. He said the Friday before they received the check they received a bill for insurance.
“That was a big help,” he said.
Madison said they are working on a new display for the museum, and are continuing work with the National Parks Service on the Underground Railroad project.
Madison said no decision has been made yet on the Farm to Table dinner, but it will be discussed at their upcoming board meeting.
Charlie Woodruff said the Gibson County Fairgrounds are planning for the fair, but it will look a little different this year.
He said they will probably ask community members to wear a mask in the grandstands and there will be tables taken out of the concession areas and spread along the fairway to help with distancing.
There will also be people hired to clean and sanitize tables, as well as sanitizing stations set up around the grounds.
Woodruff said he is not sure yet how the 4-H side of the fair will be handled. Many fairs have been canceling for this season, and Woodruff said that has been due to many falling under the 4-H umbrella.
The Gibson County Fair is stockholder owned, so it does not. Woodruff said the Gibson County 4-H group has not decided exactly what they will do at this point.
“We’re going to do the best we can,” he said. “But it’s subject to change daily, because the rules change daily.”
Woodruff also reminded the group there is COVID-19 testing happening at the fairgrounds from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge remains open for visitors, though the comfort station is closed. There are also no programs permitted at this time.
Nancy Gelhuasen said the Friends of Patoka Wildlife Refuge will have to wait until the Fish and Wildlife service indicates when that will open back up.
In the mean time, she reported there have been a lot of visitors to the refuge.
“A lot of people taking advantage of getting out and hiking around,” she said.
Mayor Greg Wright reported the start of the city’s Summer Explosion program is set for June 1 and the city pool will open May 30.
Wright said the program was a need the city felt it should fill, especially as community members head back to work.
Wright also reminded the board members of the city’s Small Business Grant Recovery Program which closes at 4 p.m. Friday. He said there are currently around 25 applicants.
Patty Vanoven said the Chamber of Commerce is planning for Heritage Days, hoping that it happens.
Vanoven said she has been talking with other executive directors at area chambers, including Jasper where the annual Strassenfest has been canceled for 2020.
The next meeting for the GCVT Inc. will be at 8 a.m. June 18 in the Princeton City Council chambers where social distancing can be observed.
GCVT Director Eric Heidenreich said he strongly enourages everyone to wear a mask. He said it is also important for the board to support the area business owners who are asking people to wear masks while in their facilities.
“We can all wear a mask for an hour and a half if we have to,” he said, “and it sets a good example for the rest of the community.”