The board of directors voted to cancel the 2020 West Virginia Strawberry Festival during a meeting Tuesday night.
“The West Virginia Strawberry Festival Board of Directors on recommendation of the Executive Board, and with the CDC guidelines, has voted to postpone all activities and events related to the 79th West Virginia Strawberry Festival to May 2021,” reads a statement released by president Sandra Bennett.
“Please bear with the festival board during this trying time for all of us as a city, county, state and country,” Bennett says in the statement, which was posted on the official W.Va. Strawberry Festival Facebook page. “The Board of Directors will keep you updated as to what events may take place in the foreseeable future.”
The decision came one day after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommended no events of more than 50 people be held for at least eight weeks — a time period ending in the midst of the scheduled festival dates, May 9-17, 2020.
The CDC guidance specifically referenced parades and festivals.
“Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities,” the CDC guidance states. “Examples of large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings and other types of assemblies.”
The CDC called on “organizers cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States” for the next eight weeks.
The W.Va. Strawberry Festival began in 1936 and was previously canceled five years for World War II. The 79th festival will now be held in 2021.
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