March 11, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Celebrate the U.P.! event indefinitely postponed over coronavirus concerns
The annual Celebrate the U.P.! event, which features speakers and other activities highlighting the places and outdoor pursuits that make the Upper Peninsula a special place to live, has been indefinitely postponed due to the uncertainty created by the spread of the coronavirus. The event, which is organized by the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition (UPEC), and this year co-sponsored by Friends of the Land of Keweenaw (FOLK) and Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center, was scheduled for March 27 and 28 in Hancock and Houghton.
“In the last two days the number of confirmed cases has risen over 12,000 worldwide with seven countries having over 1,000 each, up from four on Sunday,” said Horst Schmidt, President of UPEC. “The U.S. confirmed cases have risen from 456 to 755 in two days. There are no confirmed cases in the U.P., but the picture could rapidly change in the next two and half weeks. Students coming back from spring break at MTU, where part of the event was scheduled to occur, could change that picture. We don’t want to put anyone at risk at the Celebration. We hope everyone understands and concurs with the difficult choice the UPEC Board has made. We feel it is important to protect the public more than anything else.”
No date has been set to reschedule the celebration as an in-person event. However, UPEC is considering the possibility of organizing some of the presentations as a virtual on-line event that would be open to the public, in which case an announcement will be forthcoming.