Chamber cancels new Halibut Tourney
The first year of Homer’s two-day halibut tournament has been cancelled.
That word from Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Brad Anderson.
“Planning for this event, we had shifted the time a little bit later in the year to try to help see if we can get through some of the whole COVID related issues. And we also eliminated a lot of the public gathering components to this tournament so it was mainly just being out on the water with the friends and family,” Anderson said. “But just in light of more recent events, uptick in numbers here locally, it just came to the point that this year, it's just not the year to have an event that would bring more people in and to bring people closer together, because we still have to do the weigh-ins and those pieces. And we're getting more concerns from people that just isn't the right year to do that.”
Anderson said given the trends he’s seen in other tournaments and in travel around the country, the chamber decided it just didn’t make sense to forge ahead this year.
The tournament was set to replace the long-running Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby.
“For 33 years, we've done the Jackpot Halibut Derby here in Homer. (It) was extremely popular for a number of years. And then in the halibut fishery, more concerns were raised about just over-harvesting some of the bigger fish from there. So the committee and the chamber decided to go away from doing the Derby and creating just a two day fishing tournament that would still highlight what is really popular about coming down to Homer,” Anderson said. “And so we still want to recognize that the big part of our economy and why people come here, and making a two day event out of it wouldn't put as much pressure as a season-long kind of effort there. So that was one of the first decisions to make it into a two day tournament.”
Anderson says with the cancellation, the chamber will start planning next year’s two-day tournament. In the meantime, the Chamber is getting behind the first Homer Peony Festival which will be observed from July 10 to 25. Details are on the chamber’s website.