Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce sets cracker barrel dates

Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 6:35 PM CST
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce is setting up for four legislative cracker barrels, adjusting to the ongoing pandemic to allow for Brown County residents to meet with their elected officials.

The sessions will be held on January 30th, February 6th and 13th, and March 6th. This year, the cracker barrels will be held at the Jewett Theatre at the Johnson Fine Arts Center at Northern State, with seating set up to allow for social distancing. Masks or face coverings will be required.

Sessions will start at 10 in the morning and go until noon. Legislators from Districts 1, 2 and 3 will be present.

Chamber President Gail Ochs said the changes are necessary to meet the policies currently in place at Northern and to follow health guidelines, but said the university has been helping with the process.

“Our institutions have done a great job managing COVID with the number of students and teachers that they have, and faculty. And so, they know what they’re doing, and they’ve always been really great to work with.” Ochs said.

There will also be a stream of the sessions available, along with other ways to submit questions ahead of time. Ochs said the Chamber and local legislators are expecting to see an increase in participation from residents this year, owing to the large number of topics being discussed in Pierre. However she said that may come in other ways, and not necessarily all in-person.

“We’ll see. Normally you would think that. I think COVID will still hold some people back.”

But Ochs said it’s important for people to stay connected with their elected officials, and that the Chamber and legislators are happy that people will still be able to connect with them.

“People do have a chance to meet one-on-one with their legislators and elected officials. And so I don’t think COVID is going to stop that. We’re just going to make it as safe as possible for people.”

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