COVID drastically downsizes Strawberry Festival

BUCKHANNON — The 2021 West Virginia Strawberry Festival is scheduled to proceed after last year’s complete cancellation, but it will reportedly be a very downsized version of the 79th annual celebration that brings people to Buckhannon from near and far.

The festival theme of “Home is Where the Strawberries Are” will take place May 8-16, but it will look very different this year. Organizers say they are working hard to put on an enjoyable event that also adheres to guidelines that will keep festival attendees and the community safe.

Although no official decisions have reportedly been made, the WVSF Board of Directors is scheduled to meet next week to finalize the schedule of events. At this time, none of the parades will be permitted and Gambill Amusements will not be able to host the carnival due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The WVSF shared, “The health of our community and state is, and will remain to be, our number one priority. We have met with local and state officials for guidance and collaboration. Our dedicated board of volunteers has already committed countless hours to planning a festival for you. After much consideration and guidance, we have come to the realization that we have to drastically downsize our operation this year. Our board is continuing their work in thinking outside the box to maximizing the quality of our operation, while keeping you and your family safe.”

The pageants are still slotted to proceed, but no dates have been scheduled yet. Main Street will not close for the Friday night street party this year, but Jawbone Park will instead be utilized for entertainment and vendors.

“We remain optimistic for a successful Festival,” organizers said as they are hopeful to make the most of circumstances brought on by the pandemic. Stay tuned for more updates and the official schedule of events.



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