With caseloads from COVID-19 plummeting and vaccinations ramping up, the people who stage Sisters’ major events have reason for optimism about the summer. But the picture of what events might look like remains far from clear.

Even though the events don’t happen until summertime, it takes considerable time to ramp them up, and commitments are made to performers and participants much earlier than the event dates.

Sisters Rodeo (June 11-13), the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (July 10) and the Sisters Rhythm and Brews Festival (July 23-25) are all looking at decision points some time around April, when they have to start making commitments. The Sisters Folk Festival (SFF) has moved its dates to October 1-3 and has a little longer to determine what the event might look like. The organization is hopeful that the permanent date change enacted this year will put SFF outside of the wildfire smoke season, and they are cautiously optimistic that having a festival will be possible this year, amid COVID-19 concerns.

Event organizers are faced with making decisions about summertime events based on conditions as they stand in April. It is not clear what state mandates and restrictions will be in place and how the events might go forward, and what modifications might be required.

Several organizations are meeting with the City of Sisters and the Deschutes County Public Health Department on March 5, and hope to have greater clarity regarding the path forward after that meeting.