Williston’s annual Chokecherry Festival is changing things up a bit this year, moving locations and keeping safety and social distancing at the forefront.

Rather than it’s normal location of Harmon Park, the festival is setting up shop at Spring Lake Park on Aug. 7 and 8, a move organizers said will help keep the event safe amid ongoing coronavirus concerns.

“We switched the area to provide social distancing and encourage people to get out and move,” Ashley Oyloe, events and convention services coordinator for the Williston CVB told the Williston Herald. “We are going forward, but we are putting a lot of thought into how to safely put this event on for the community, and we thought our best option to socially distance people would be to move it to Spring Lake Park.”

Despite the change in location, Oyloe said the festival will still have the same features that visitors have come to know and love. The two-day event kicks off on Friday, Aug 7 at 4 p.m., with the ever-popular 1,000 burger feed at the Keelboat, sponsored by Nemont. After dinner, don’t miss out on the free ice cream with chokecherry syrup, courtesy of American State Bank and Trust. From there, the afternoon is full of entertainment, with the high-flying Ultimate Air Dog competition, the Bear Hollow Woodcarvers and facepainting. There

There will be musical entertainment throughout the afternoon and evening, with musicians Emily Black, A Capital in Ruin, the Jensen Sisters, Diamond Dixie, Getting Outta’ Dodge and Ben Johnson performing on various stages in the park. Friday night features the 4 on 4 Volleyball tournament, free Glow-in-Water Paddleboards courtesy of Williston Parks and Recreation, and the Lite Brite Run, taking the place of the annual Chokecherry Run.

Musicians are also invited to take place in a “Mooncats Moonlight Jam” with the Mooncats band. The night rounds out with the family movie Moana beginning at 10 p.m.

The festival starts up again on Saturday with the Lions free pancake breakfast starting at 7:30 a.m. At 10 a.m., vendors and attractions open to the public, featuring another full day of fun. The cornhole tournament starts at 11 a.m., and the Air Dogs and Bear Hollow woodcarvers return, along with multiple vendors set up throughout the park. The Basin Kruzers will have some of their hottest rides on display, and musical entertainment will once again keep visitors on their toes.

Oyloe said that vehicles will not be permitted in the park during the festival, but parking will be available at the lot next to the Holiday Gas station, as well as nearby at the Buck Scheele Family Animal Center.

“We’re excited to bring this to town, and make it the safest event we can.” Oyloe said. “We have a lot of volunteers and people that are willing to make it happen and still make it safe, so we’re hopeful and really excited to put it on.”

For more information or to register for the volleyball or cornhole tournaments, go online to www.visitwilliston.com, or check out Facebook at facebook.com/visitwilliston.

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