CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Southeastern Wildlife Exposition (SEWE) on Tuesday announced the cancellation of the 2021 event due to COVID-19 concerns.

The event was scheduled for February 11 through 14, and event planners hoped that stringent COVID-19 protocols would be enough to safely hold the event.

After a Board of Directors meeting this week, organizers concluded that holding an event given the current state of public health would not be prudent.

Executive Director John Powell released the following statement:

“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. 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.

Ticket refunds will be available for the next 45 days at this link. An option for donating tickets is available as well; “the value of the purchased ticket package can be gifted to the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition as a tax-deductible donation.”

Editor’s Note: This story is breaking and will be updated.