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Du Quoin businesses impacted by Street Machine Nationals postponed to 2021

Updated: Aug. 18, 2020 at 7:08 PM CDT
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DU QUOIN, Ill. (KFVS) - Continental Tire Street Machine Nationals has been postponed to 2021 due to concerns over COVID-19 and the restrictions in place in the state of Illinois.

First officials canceled the Du Quoin State Fair due to the pandemic, and now this big event.

Local business in the surrounding region will miss out numerous of potential customers this year.

Du Quoin Mayor Guy Alongi said this is a “slap in the face” after losing not one, but two major events that large draw crowds to his town.

“Anytime you lose an event that draws 25 to 30 thousand people over a three day period it’s going to have some impact on your community,” Alongi said.

Robert Whitis works in the mom and pop restaurant Kalin’s Cafe in Du Quoin. He’s worked there for 20 years.

“It was a big hit,” he said.

According to the Du quoin mayor, the annual events from the state fairgrounds generate more than seven million dollars worth of tax revenue for the region.

Whitis said the restaurant and surrounding businesses will lose out on money since Street Machine Nationals is postponed.

“It’s a deep impact not just for our business but all the downtown business, Du Quoin and the other surrounding areas, too. you know,” he said.

Around the corner sits another local business -- St. Nicholas Brewing Company.

The GM Abby Ancell and their team is working on renovations. She said not have the added tourism business hurts.

“So it’s kind of the one thing we were looking forward to because it had rescheduled...so I’m bummed,” she said.

She said they will not meet budget this year.

“We have just kind of come to that realization that this is going to be one of those years,” Ancell said. “In business you go up and down so we just have to make sure we are continuing to serve our community.”

Both businesses tell me they are thankful for local customers, and they’re hopeful things will be better.

Whitis said, “Get that vaccine, get it going...and get back together again.”

The event was scheduled for October 9-11 at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds.

Bonnier Events said they are looking into finding a viable location for an alternate event later in 2020.

Registered participants will be receiving an email from the box office with the option to transfer their registration to a 2021 Street Machine Nationals Event or opt for a refund. Participants can also find additional details and information in that email, and have until Sunday, August 30 to make a decision.

Individual spectator tickets to the Street Machine Nationals that were bought online will be refunded automatically within 30 days.

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