A popular event for both music and great food has been canceled for 2021 due to on-going concerns for safety from COVID-19. Smokin' In Steele, a BBQ and Blues Festival held at the Steele County Fairgrounds normally in June, announced last night that it was canceling the event this year "due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic battle."

The post to social media, and later emailed to us, is from John Hammer, who oversees the event. You can read the full announcement from Hammer below.

"After heart wrenching deliberation, it is with great sadness we notify you that due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic battle, Smokin' in Steele, produced by The Knights of Columbus Council 945 in Owatonna, MN, must postpone SIS 2021 until June 3-4, 2022. Given the current situation, we could not find a way to present Smokin' in Steele 2021, in its entirety, that would ensure the safety of the public, our sponsors, volunteers, and participants. We firmly believe in our principles of Charity, Unity, Fraternity, and Patriotism. We proudly produce Smokin' in Steele in the spirit of giving back to our community in order help make it a better place to live for all.  We feel that, although it is a heartbreaking choice, it is the only responsible and right thing to do for our community as well as Smokin' in Steele. We also firmly believe we are on a path to recovery and have already been making plans to present Smokin' in Steele 2022 even bigger and better. Wishing everyone patience, safety, and health!"

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So as you can see from the announcement from John, the event is expected to be held in 2022 and is going to be "even bigger and better."

While we understand why the event needed to be canceled, it's still a blow to many in the area who looked forward to the music, food, and friendship of attending the event. I for one have been lucky enough to get to go for a few hours each year and just take in the sounds and of course the smells.

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