25th Annual Fiddlers & Fiddleheads Festival cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns

Published 9:44 am Wednesday, March 25, 2020

UNICOI — The 25th Annual Fiddlers & Fiddleheads Festival, the town of Unicoi’s longest-running festival, has now been cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns. Mayor Johnny Lynch made the decision Monday morning after Governor Bill Lee’s announcement Sunday regarding closures of bars, gyms and restaurant dining rooms across the state.

“We were hoping it wouldn’t come to this since it was going to be a special year for the festival as it celebrated 25 amazing years,” Mayor Lynch said. “But our main concern is the safety and well-being of our residents and any potential visitors to the community. Given the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus and the recent spread into our region, I feel this cancellation is what’s truly best for our citizens.”

The event is a joint effort between the Town of Unicoi and the Unicoi Business Alliance. Vendors that have already registered will be contacted and all fees will be refunded.

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The Fiddlers and Fiddleheads Festival planning committee has been monitoring the COVID-19 for the past few weeks and was originally expected to make a decision April 1 regarding whether to hold the event.

“We were trying to wait as long as possible to make a decision in hopes that the risk of infection would lessen over time,” said Unicoi Business Alliance Treasurer and Unicoi Alderman Jeff Linville. “But now that we have confirmed cases all around us, it’s a different story. This is what we need to do to keep people safe.”

The music festival, held annually at the Farmhouse Gallery and Gardens, usually features 17 bands on three stages throughout the day, an antique car show, blacksmith hammer-in and more than 30 craft vendors and has typically attracted more than 3,000 attendees.

For more information regarding the Fiddlers and Fiddleheads Festival, contact Patricia Bennett at (423) 735-0517 or email recreationaide@unicoitn.net. For information regarding the Town of Unicoi’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, email communicationsandprograms@unicoitn.net or contact Ashley Shelton at (423) 735-0317.