‘What’s best for our patrons’: Major Butler County events canceled or postponed

With the strong recommendation of the CDC and state government officials looking to curb the spread of coronavirus, Butler County organizations are rescheduling, postponing or canceling large-scale public events.

Hamilton’s Fitton Center for Creative Arts on Thursday morning said it would halt all classes, workshops and events scheduled through April 17. That includes including “Shades of Bublé” (Saturday) “Loving” (Tuesday), “Two Sketchy Dames” (March 28) and 80 Acres (April 1).

The center is working with all producers and artists to reschedule all performances and events, according to Ian MacKenzie-Thurley, its executive director.

ExploreSEE THE LIST: Event cancellations: What’s changing, closing in Butler County, region

“We’re looking at what’s best for our patrons, for our audience, for our students and for our staff here, and the community,” he said. “The show’s will go on, they’ll just happen later.”

MacKenzie-Thurley said he has spoken daily to Hamilton Health Commissioner Kay Farrar for about two weeks and continued to strictly follow her advice and instruction. He said the Fitton Center also has been “in open communication for a while” with city and school officials.

“We all want to be in lockstep together,” he said. “We are facing this challenge as a community.

“I think everybody is getting the message now that this is not media hype.”

ExploreREAD MORE: Coronavirus: If you think you’re sick, what should you do?

The Fitton Center was one of numerous area organizations to take action Thursday. The Community Foundation of West Chester/Liberty canceled Saturday’s Shamrock Shuffle 5K/10K & Community Block Party, an event it holds annually to encourage and support community connection and philanthropy.

“Considering the recent outbreak, we had a strong recommendation to cancel the event,” said Erin Clemons, its president and CEO. “The health and safety of participants and the community is the top priority.”

The foundation will do a “virtual run” and encourage residents to contribute their event registration fee to the foundation and a new Community Health Fund, Clemons said.

The fund will be used to respond to current and future community health needs, enabling the foundation to respond to the effects of this public health crisis through activities like health screenings, senior citizen services and food pantry staples, she said.

ExploreCoronavirus: Complete Coverage

The Sorg Opera Board of Directors has decided to postpone all scheduled events this weekend at the Sorg Theater. Postponed events include Friday’s “Etta at Last: A Tribute to Etta James,” Saturday’s “Night Fever: The Best of the Bee Gees” and Sunday’s “Photographers Open House.”

The board wrote in an email that the Middletown Health Department asked it to reschedule the events.

Downtown Middletown Inc. Executive Director Jeff Payne said the organization recognizes that there is nothing more important than the health and well-being of the citizens of our community.

“As such, we are postponing all DMI large-scale public events until further notice unless attendance can be controlled and numbered to ensure it falls within the state mandated maximum,” Payne said. “This does not mean that our Downtown Businesses or that Downtown is closed, and we are not looking to deter people from visiting or supporting businesses or our downtown.”

The governor’s order directly impacts DMI’s large public events, which would include non-ticketed public events, Payne said.

Community Building Institute (CBI) Middletown postponed its second annual Lens of Hope 2020 Gala scheduled for Friday at the Windamere event venue in the city’s downtown, a decision not made lightly, according to CBI Executive Director Karin Maney.

“CBI’s board and I are following the recommendations of our local health board and the governor’s office to postpone or cancel large group events to prevent the risk of spread to any possible attendees with underlying health concerns,” Maney said. “Our desire is to reschedule the event as soon as possible.”

Maney said she is hoping to reschedule CBI’s gala to mid- to late May.

Although Miami University is still open and holding classes remotely, Miami University activities and events that are not academically essential are now canceled through April 12, and possibly longer. That includes all public programming through April 12 at Miami Hamilton Downtown center, according to John Vaughn, the center’s coordinator.


West Chester-Liberty Chamber Alliance: all chamber events through March 20 including Friday's Women 4 Women event and next Wednesday's scheduled Business After Hours.

The Community Foundation of West Chester/Liberty: Saturday's Shamrock Shuffle 5K/10K & Community Block Party, an event it holds annually to encourage and support community connection and philanthropy.

Miami Hamilton Downtown center: activities and events that are not academically essential, including all public programming, through April 12 and possibly longer.


Hamilton's Fitton Center for Creative Arts: halting all classes and events through April 17. That includes including "Shades of Bublé" (Saturday) "Loving" (Tuesday), "Two Sketchy Dames" (March 28) and 80 Acres (April 1). Tickets will transfer to the yet-to-be-announced rescheduled date. Refunds available via 513-863-8873, extension 110.

Badin High School: postponing spring play, "The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940." Play was scheduled to run from March 19 through March 22.

Community Building Institute (CBI) Middletown: second annual Lens of Hope 2020 Gala scheduled for Friday at the Windamere event venue in Middletown. Event organizers hope to reschedule for mid- to late May.


Downtown Middletown Inc’s Etta James tribute concert at Sorg Opera House rescheduled from Friday to Sept. 4. All tickets will be automatically transferred to the new date and honored. Questions or requests should be directed to info@downtownmiddletown.org or 513-464-2527.


Hamilton’s Lane Libraries: All library programs until at least the end of March. Includes patron use of library meeting rooms. Lane Bookmobile and Outreach Department will temporarily suspend all visits and deliveries, including those to community stops, schools, Head Starts, daycares, and retirement communities.

About the Author