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Enquirer file photo Thousands pack Main Street during the Depot Days festival. This year, the annual event is being planned virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Planning for 40th annual Depot Days goes virtual

The plans for the 40th annual Depot Days festival are well underway at the Hartselle Area Chamber of Commerce – although that process looks a little different this year.

Events coordinator Kassi Hill said the chamber’s largest and longest-running event is being planned virtually because of the statewide shelter-at-home order that is in effect until April 30.

Out of an abundance of caution, Hill said some of the planning meetings might remain virtual for the time being.

“We had to resort to using Zoom for our planning meetings because of the shelter-at-home order, and that’s something that’s new for us,” Hill said. “We’re trying our best to adapt to this new normal.”

A group of Hartselle residents will hold a virtual meeting May 4 to kick off the planning of the annual event.

Hill said the planning and execution of an event like Depot Days begins months in advance. “When Depot Days ends, we start thinking about the next year,” she said. “It’s our biggest event, so it takes the most planning – we couldn’t do it without everyone pitching in and helping out.”

Scheduled for Sept. 19, Hill said her hope is the 40th annual Depot Days will be the best yet. “We hope the threat of the coronavirus will be significantly less by the time September rolls around,” she said. “For now, we’ll carry on with the planning like we always have while we prepare for alternatives if needed.”