HANNIBAL, Mo. -- Citing an overabundance of caution regarding the novel strand of the coranvirus, officials with the Hannibal Piecemakers Quilt Guild have announced the guild's biennial quilt show has been postponed until later this year.
The show, which attracts more than 1,000 people from throughout Missouri, Illinois, Iowa and Indiana, was originally scheduled for April 4 and 5. The show, which is held in the Admiral Coontz Armory in downtown Hannibal, will now be held Sept. 11 through Sept. 12.
"It was definitely a difficult decision to make," said Lesa Spegal, president of the quilt guild. "We know we have people who make plans well in advance of the show. People who travel from Kansas City and Indianapolis to spend the weekend in Hannibal, staying at hotels, going to quilt shops not only in Hannibal but throughout the area."
While the number of COVID-19 cases remains low in Missouri and there have been no reported cases in Northeast Missouri, public health officials say they are encouraging large-scale public events to postpone or cancel until further notice.
"It hard to draw an exact number as to what exact size of crowd is safe and which is not. Even in crowds under 100 people there are multiple possible exposure risks and while I can't offer any certainty as to what is a safe threshold for crowd size, I think it is especially important that people are cautious," said Mason Alley, an emergency planner for the Knox County Health Department. He has been traveling the Northeast Missouri region to discuss the coronavirus with public health officials.
Spegal said she and other members of the quilt guild are hoping that the September show will still serve as the regional debut of the Missouri Bicentennial Quilt, which includes blocks representing each of Missouri's 114 counties and the city of St Louis. In addition to having 300 quilts on display, the two-day event also includes a number of vendors, quilt appraisals, and other activities.