SeaOtter-2_2018 (copy)

The expo at Sea Otter Classic is the largest of its kind in the world.

With the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases doubling in June and a recent spate of days with especially high infection counts, more public events that were scheduled late summer and fall are being canceled. 

The latest cancellation announcement of major Monterey County events are the West End Celebration in Sand City and the Sea Otter Classic at the Laguna Seca Recreation Area. 

The organizers of the arts-focused West End Celebration, which was scheduled for August 21-23, announced the cancelation on in late June. 

“Given the popularity of the festival as a community gathering place we decided it was the socially responsible decision to cancel this year’s event,” the festival’s coordinator Stephen Vagnini wrote in a statement. “We had waited as long as reasonably possible with the hopes that the circumstances would improve to a point that events like ours would be allowed to move forward.”

The Sea Otter Classic bike festival had initially been postponed to Oct. 1-4 in response to the outbreak. But on July 1, the event’s organizers announced that the fall date would not happen either. 

“After frequent discussions with Monterey County health officials, it has become clear that we cannot host an event that will meet our health and safety standards,” Sea Otter Classic CEO Frank Yohannan wrote in a statement. 

 An alternative virtual bike event will take place on September 17-20. Known as Sea Otter Play, the event will feature an innovation showcase, cycling challenges, and a fundraising component.

Asaf Shalev is a staff writer at the Monterey County Weekly. He covers the environment, agriculture and K-12 education, as well as Seaside, Marina, Sand City, Big Sur and Carmel Valley.

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