editor's note

We're supporting our own local community of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, by shopping small and attending small events while staying socially distanced./Ellen Matis

Here in Central Pennsylvania, we learned of the biggest news yet that would alter local tourism since the start of shutdown amid COVID-19 in August. Big Ten football will not play a fall 2020 season.

I’ll be honest: Despite living just over 4 miles away from Beaver Stadium, home of the Penn State Nittany Lions, I’m not a football person. But even for someone like myself, who wouldn’t know a famous football player if I saw him on the street, I know how much this will affect our local economy. The trickle effect is huge.

Yet at the same time, I support staying safe. I know that packing fans into a stadium, or even having them tailgate in the fresh air, is a huge risk to our public safety.

When I think about huge losses like the one of Penn State football to our community, or the cancellation of other huge events across the Mid-Atlantic, I can’t help but think about the little communities scattered across the region. The towns that are still trying to pull off smaller versions of their most important fundraisers.

If you feel comfortable supporting them, do anything you can to do so. Visit downtowns and local shops, participate in smaller community events, and contribute to just a small bit of economic and tourism impact.

Take day trips, shop local, and stay safe.

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