Mr. Sipp, “the Mississippi Blues Child,” went out into the crowd during the fourth song of his set at the 2018 Paola Roots Festival. This year’s festival has been canceled once again due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

PAOLA — Music and barbecue lovers will have to wait one more year for the return of the Paola Roots Festival.

Organizers posted on the event’s official Facebook page that the 2021 Paola Roots Festival has been canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“We absolutely would prefer to get the lawn chairs in place, gather friends and strangers together to hug, dance, shake hands and to enjoy each other at what’s become a Root’s family summertime tradition!” the post states. “Unfortunately, we’re still in the throes of this pandemic, and despite promising vaccine news for later this year, we believe canceling the 2021 festival is in the best interest of our community and our attendees. We’ll start planning and look forward to the 2022 Paola Roots Festival scheduled for August 26 & 27. We appreciate your patience and understanding.”

The festival also was canceled last summer due to the pandemic.

The Paola Roots Festival started as the Paola Community Roots Reunion, a potluck picnic in Wallace Park in 1990. It has been growing ever since and typically draws more than 6,000 people each year.

Senior Managing Editor Brian McCauley can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or brian.mccauley@miconews.com.

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