FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) — The board of directors for the Johnny Appleseed Festival has announced this year's fest has been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.
"The decision to cancel was not made easily, but the health and safety of our volunteers, vendors, not for profit partners, and community, was paramount," the Johnny Appleseed Festival, Inc. Board of Directors said in a release.
Officials said the CDC considers such festivals a "highest risk" activity for the spread of the virus, as social distancing and the number of attendees, many of which are not local, are difficult to control.
“What makes cancelling the festival so hard is not only disappointing the tens of thousands of festival goers who look forward to the traditional family event with its tasty food, trappers and traders, handmade crafts, antiques, period demonstrators and entertainment," Board President, Becky Butler said.
"It is also about all our vendors and performers losing income, and the nearly 40 local Not for Profit organizations losing the opportunity to raise funds for their organizations. The Johnny Appleseed Festival is often their largest fundraiser of the year. Funds, they count on to carry out their missions throughout our community.”
Officials say the festival will return for the 46th year on September 18 and 19, 2021 in Johnny Appleseed Park.