Middletown’s Heritage Festival, scheduled for September, has been canceled, citing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.
The committee in charge of organizing the festival, one of the town’s largest events each year, didn’t feel it would be responsible to hold such a crowded event with the health concerns of the coronavirus pandemic, said Jennifer Ross, the chairwoman of the festival committee.
“We just couldn’t figure out how to do social distancing with a crowd of that size,” she said.
The town announced the cancellation of the festival scheduled for Sept. 26 in a release Thursday.
They had to consider the safety of people attending the festival, as well as volunteers, vendors, and others, Ross said.
The global pandemic has affected a variety of events, from concerts to Broadway plays, as well as local events like the Heritage Festival.
The Middletown announcement comes a day after the board of the Great Frederick Fair announced that the fair would not be held this year.
In June, Thurmont announced that its largest festival of the year, Catoctin Colorfest, will not be held in October due to COVID-19 concerns.
Brunswick’s mayor and council will make a decision at Tuesday’s council meeting about the plans for the city’s Railroad Days festival in October, City Manager Dave Dunn said in an email Thursday.
The plans are to bring back the Heritage Festival in September 2021, Ross said.
September would have marked the 36th year of the festival, which includes a parade, food vendors, and other events.
While people are disappointed about the cancellation, they believe it’s for the best, she said.
“We just had to look at the greater good,” she said.