Just two weeks after announcing the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition (SEWE) was a go for 2021, the organization reversed its decision and canceled the 39th annual event planned for Feb. 11-14.
The SEWE staff met with its board of directors last week to assess the current state of public health and evaluate the plans and safety protocols for the 2021 event, and it was collectively concluded that the February event should be canceled.
For the past 10 months, SEWE organizers have been closely monitoring the pandemic and working in tandem with the city of Charleston and local and regional agencies to develop provisional plans for a 2021 event. Organizers said the team regularly consulted with the appropriate organizations to arrange an event that would align with the health and safety guidelines established by local leaders. However, with COVID-19 cases on the rise across the country, the organization said it faced making decisions that could compromise the safety of patrons and the integrity of the event.
“I am extremely proud of the effort demonstrated by our staff and the extended SEWE family to plan an event in these uncertain times. We knew that we faced a difficult task, but we navigated this last year by having open conversations with stakeholders and regulatory agencies,” said John Powell, executive director of SEWE. “We have been humbled by the unwavering support from our loyal attendees, corporate partners, the city of Charleston and the state of South Carolina. I believe that the spirit to persevere, despite new and daunting challenges, is what will lead us out of these times and into a more safe and prosperous future.”
SEWE will provide all patrons who purchased tickets and/or VIP packages with the following ticketing options:
• Ticket refund: SEWE will refund the value of the purchased ticket package (applicable for VIP, general admission and Lowcountry Social tickets). Refunds are only available upon request and must be completed within 45 days of cancellation of the event. SEWE 2021 refund requests can be submitted online. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
with questions or concerns.
• Ticket donation: The value of the purchased ticket package can be gifted to the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition as a tax-deductible donation. Donations will help support the nonprofit’s mission to showcase the nation’s finest wildlife artists, create awareness for conservation, positively influence wildlife and nature education and impact the local and statewide economies through increased tourism.
SEWE is encouraging its loyal fanbase to support the nonprofit organization and its partners during Presidents’ Day weekend and throughout the year. Organizers are also working on other opportunities to provide patrons and partners with a taste of SEWE in the fall before the event makes its official return in February 2022 for the highly anticipated 40th year celebration, Feb. 17-20.
For more information on the event, visit sewe.com.