Covington, GA – In response to an increase in COVID-19 activity in Georgia and realizing that a safe, healthy environment cannot be provided for patrons, Georgia Wildlife Federation (GWF) announces the 2020 Buckarama scheduled for August at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry will not take place.
“Our main concern has been, and continues to be, the health and safety of our Buckarama vendors, patrons, volunteers and staff,” comments Mike Worley, GWF President and CEO. “Given typical shoulder-to-shoulder crowds at the show, we simply couldn’t come up with ways to ensure we could provide a safe environment for all involved.”
Since 1984, the Buckarama has provided over 3.5 million dollars in support of GWF conservation programs. In recent years, proceeds from the show support the non-profit’s work to donate venison to food banks, recruit and retain hunters, restore healthy habitats and clean water, provide public access to nature trails, and advocate for wildlife and the public’s opportunities to hunt, fish, and enjoy the outdoors.
“Proceeds from the Buckarama have been a mainstay in our budget for 35 years,” continues Worley. “Our staff and board are working on finding alternative fundraisers and new ways to reach out to supporters so that our programs continue to grow and stay strong in the coming year.”
The cancellation of the 2020 show is not only a significant budgetary hit for the charitable organization, but also impacts vendors, most of which are small, family-owned businesses that depend on the show to market and sell outdoor products to the public.
A typical Buckarama weekend brings together hunters from across Georgia and the Southeast to “talk shop” with vendors, listen to seminars from outdoor professionals, and peruse the latest and greatest hunting supplies. For many, the show is now a tradition and a signal that hunting season is just around the corner.
“August is like a big family reunion for us,” said GWF’s Sporting Event Manager, Sam Stowe. “We have families, volunteers and vendors who have been coming to the show as long as they can remember. We’ll miss seeing everyone this year, but we’re looking forward to catching up soon at our 2021 shows in February and August.”
In the meantime, patrons are encouraged to follow GWF and the Buckarama on Facebook and at buckarama.net and gwf.org for opportunities to connect with our Buckarama vendors and support GWF in other ways.