Annual Winters Dove Fest takes safety measures amid pandemic

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WINTERS, Texas (KTAB/KRBC)- Dove hunting season is here, and the 18th annual Winters Dove Fest is scheduled for this Saturday. A lot of nonprofit organizations in Winters rely on funding raised from this event to serve the community throughout the year.

“We are the biggest event here in Winters. All of our proceeds go to the local youth organizations and nonprofits in town. We have about 20 of those,” said Winters Dove Fest Executive Director Laura Day.

In order to keep the tradition going, organizers had to make some major changes to follow social distancing guidelines.

“We will not be having the group activities, instead it will be a drive-thru. At the drive-thru we will have raffle stops, we will have the gun boards, all of our volunteers will be masked up. We will be taking temperatures beforehand,” said Day.

“This year 2020, the pandemic has changed everything we do,” said Winters Dove Fest Chairman Jonathan.

Organizers say, on average 1,000 people attend the event each year, but due to the pandemic they are not sure how many people will come.

“We actually ordered about the same things we normally would. Whatever’s left over, you know, if we have a full brisket leftover we have a list of people that would be willing to buy a full brisket,” said Jonathan.

Day says about 60% of people who attend Dove Fest are from out of town, and organizers are optimistic people will travel from all over to join in on the fun.
 
“I don’t want to be standing shoulder to shoulder with somebody when I’m trying to shoot dove anyway. So we’re hoping that since everyone’s tired of being cooped up, we’ll actually see if not the same numbers, a higher number than usual,” said Jonathan.

According to Laura Day, over the past 17-years the annual Winters Dove Fest has put just over $200,000 into the local economy.

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