Fall festival canceled in Virginia due to virus concerns

Published 12:17 pm Friday, May 1, 2020

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FERRUM, Va. (AP) — The 47th annual Blue Ridge Folklife Festival has been canceled due to safety concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The festival slated to be held in Ferrum this October was rescheduled for next year, the group announced in a Facebook post on Thursday. Organizers said they will host a virtual event instead this year, featuring photos, drawings and videos from their previous festivals.
“We don’t know under what guidelines our state will be operating with regard to the virus, and our visitors’ safety is of the utmost importance to us,” said Blue Ridge Institute and Museum Director Bethany Worley in a news release reported by news outlets.
The event, which draws nearly 12,000 people to Ferrum College, brings together cooks, musicians, craftspeople and a host of other talents to celebrate the culture of the region, the Roanoke Times reported. It has been a lucrative festival for churches and other participating groups in Ferrum.
The decision to cancel the festival was made early so people traveling long distances can avoid canceling their plans later on, Worley said in the news release.
Organizers said the virtual event will take place during the week of October 19.

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