The city of Annapolis has officially canceled its two fall boat shows due to health concerns related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The decision was made by Annapolis city officials, including Mayor Gavin Buckley, City Manager David Jarrell, Anne Arundel Health Official Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman and Alderwoman Elly Tierney. Annapolis Boat Shows President Paul Jacobs reportedly was not involved in the decision.
The United States Powerboat Show, which was scheduled for October 1 through 4, and the United States Sailboat Show, which scheduled for October 8 through 12, generate an estimated $112 million for the city annually, according to a 2014 economic impact study. The United States Sailboat Show is the world’s largest sailboat show.
Jacobs had met with city officials to discuss plans to host smaller shows with stringent health protocols, including mandatory mark use, temperature checks, fewer vendors and a limit of 6,000 daily attendees, but the city ultimately decided that it would be impossible to safely host the event, even at a smaller scale.
“It is a blow to the city and will be additional stress on local businesses, but we can’t be the epicenter of a Covid-19 outbreak. It’s that simple,” says City Manager Jarrell. The city hopes to host both the spring and fall boat shows in 2021. In the meantime, you can visit the Passagemaker Digital Boat Show to walk the docks from the comfort and safety of your home.
Carly Sisson reporting courtesy of our sister publication, Soundings Magazine.