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Magic Valley Folk Festival cancels due to COVID-19 pandemic
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Magic Valley Folk Festival cancels due to COVID-19 pandemic

Magic Valley Folk Festival

Dancers from different countries mingle during the Magic Valley Folk Festival Monday, July 23, 2018, at Rupert Square in Idaho.

BURLEY — The annual cultural exchange that occurs via the Magic Valley Folk Festival has been canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Festival chair Krista Gammon said the event, which for 15 years has brought teams of dancers to the community during the third week of July for a rich interchange, was canceled this year due to travel restrictions.

“There was no way our international teams would have been able to get visas and come,” Gammon said.

The festival usually encompasses several days of activities in the community, including a Rupert parade and gala performances.

Meeting the dancers from these countries, minus the government agendas and politics, shows that people everywhere “are really more alike than different,” Amy Young, co-chairwoman of the festival committee said last year.

“There are good people around the world regardless of politics,” she said.

In 2019, dance teams from Croatia, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Taiwan and the U.S. performed at the festival, which included two gala performances and workshops for children.

Each year the dance teams stay at the homes of Mini-Cassia families and local individuals and businesses donate $20,000 to $25,000 to bring them to Idaho.

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