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Summer festival leaders consider canceling because of COVID-19

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC)- The COVID-19 outbreak has put a wrench in a lot of things in our everyday lives.

From businesses closing to events being postponed and canceled, directors of Fort Wayne's biggest festivals are wondering whether they should cancel.

"Our president spoke with the Allen County Health Department asking them what do they advise and they were saying were not festivals really anything at this point. It's really up to us but even if the quarantine is lifted the virus is still going to be around people could still be carrying it so we want to make sure everybody is safe," said Germanfest's Marketing Coordinator, Abby Heidenreich.

Germanfest is scheduled for the beginning of June. Heidenreich says the event is very close to her heart.

I grew up with Germanfest as I child my dad was one of the people that started it we lost him in 2018 so we all kind of stepped up to fill his shoes," Heidenreich said.

This year would be Germanfest's 39th year in Fort Wayne. Heidenreich says canceling the event would be a huge hit to not only her but the rest of the Fort Wayne community.

"Postponing would be a really tough thing because our city has many wonderful festivals throughout the whole summer and there wouldn't be a place for us to really move to so if we were not going to be able to hold in June we would probably just have to cancel," Heidenreich said.

Another one of those festivals is the biggest in town, The Three Rivers Festival, which draws almost half a million people every year. Executive Director Jack Hammer says the show is still on.

"The three rivers festival is in July. it's July 10th through the 18th. We're hoping that the restrictions will be lifted by that time and that the community in northeast Indiana will be ready for a big party. So we want to make sure that we continue with our plan," Hammer said.

Hammer says he thinks the festival is coming at the most perfect time. After months of isolation he says the festival will be the celebration the city needs.

"I think it's important to look forward to it because right now all we look forward to no kind of an ending. But if we could look forward to this being done and going forward and having this be a big celebration, that's what we want to festival to be every year but this year it's gonna fall in a great place and we hope and pray that we can get there," Hammer said.

Arielle Cadet

Arielle Cadet joined WPTA in August 2019. The Atlanta, Georgia native graduated from the University of Missouri and serves as a Multimedia Journalist for WPTA. Feel free to connect with her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or shoot her an email at

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