FORSYTH TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLUC) - The U.P. Volunteer Firefighters Tournament is the latest summer event to be called off in Upper Michigan due to COVID-19.
The Forsyth Township Fire Department says it will now host the 126th annual tournament July 23-25, 2021.
In a Facebook post, the department thanked the Wakefield Volunteer Fire Department and Negaunee Fire Department for moving their host years back one year each, allowing Forsyth Township to host the tournament in Gwinn next year.
This will be the first time the department has hosted the tournament in the area in nearly 25 years.
"We are saddened we won't be able to see everyone this summer, but this just means we have an extra year to plan and make tournaments even better," the department said.
The decision to cancel was ultimately made echoing safety concerns coming from departments throughout the UP.
“We didn’t have a very good turnout of departments responding. The reason for it, of course, many of the municipalities are very concerned about sending their department members over there for a tournament, and spreading the disease,” said Pearce Graham, Secretary UP Volunteer Firefighters Association
The tournament was originally scheduled to be held July 24-26, 2020. The UP Volunteer Firefighters Tournament has only been cancelled one other year, during World War ii. With the postponement, that means the next two departments hosting the tournament will be pushed back year. That’s Wakefield, now in 2022 and the City of Negaunee in 2023.