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River expo at Ponca State Park called off due to coronavirus concerns

River expo at Ponca State Park called off due to coronavirus concerns

Expo- bow 2016

Alayna Cleveland, 6, of Norfolk, Neb., is instructed on how to properly shoot a bow and arrow at the Missouri River Outdoor Expo at the Ponca State Park in this September 2016 file photo.

PONCA, Neb. -- The 2020 Missouri River Outdoor Expo at Ponca State Park has been canceled, due to the unpredictable nature of the coronavirus pandemic.

Scott Oligmueller, the Ponca State Park superintendent for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, in a Tuesday release said the expo will not be held on the planned September days.

“We thank the thousands of expo guests for their understanding at this time, as well as their commitment to conservation and traditions of our outdoor heritage. We intend to bring back the event in 2021, a year that will mark the 100th anniversary of Nebraska State Parks," Oligmueller said.

He said the expo has been well received in recent years for providing families with a wide variety of outdoor opportunities. Oligmueller said the activities adjacent to the Missouri River, about 25 miles from Sioux City, are a field trip destination for schools and a draw for families who love the outdoors.

Such events as rock climbing, shooting, outdoor cooking and other competitions provide limited opportunity to socially distance, restrict group size or appropriately disinfect between users to reduce the potential for spread of COVID-19, Oligmueller said.

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