The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the cancellation of one of Washington County’s largest annual festivals.
This (Thursday) morning, the Chappell Hill Historical Society announced the cancellation of the Scarecrow Festival, planned for October 10th and 11th.
In a press release, the Historical Society said its Board of Directors and Festival Committee have spent much time reviewing and evaluating the feasibility of hosting this year’s festival, which regularly draws close to 10,000 visitors daily throughout the two-day event. Officials determined the cancellation to be in the best interest of the Historical Society and the community in order to ensure a safe and healthy environment for guests, volunteers, and residents.
The Historical Society said the precautionary costs to safely host the event would be “a financial burden”, and the available manpower to prepare and be on site during the event is “extremely limited” as a result of the pandemic.
Festivals such as the Scarecrow Festival and the Bluebonnet Festival—which was also cancelled this year—are the sole method of fundraising for the Historical Society, who is also the sole underwriters of the festivals thanks to sponsors and memberships.
The Historical Society encourages the community to get involved, volunteer, and share ideas as it prepares for its festivals next year.
Full press release from Chappell Hill Historical Society below:
The Chappell Hill Historical Society Board of Directors and Festival Committee have been carefully assessing the modifications that need to be implemented to host the 2020 Scarecrow Festival (Oct. 10 & 11th). Nearly 10,000 visitors daily visit the community of Chappell Hill during this two day event and we must ensure a safe and healthy environment for our guests, our volunteers and residents during the current COVID-19 pandemic. After reviewing and evaluating the feasibility of hosting this year’s festival, we have determined that it in the best interest of not only our Society, but our community, to cancel this year’s Scarecrow Festival. The Society, thanks to our sponsors and membership, are the sole underwriters of these festivals. Manpower to prepare and be on site during the event is donated time by volunteers and various organizations throughout Washington County, which this year are extremely limited due to the pandemic. Additional precautionary costs to host such an event would be a financial burden as we attempt to adhere to all sanitary requirements established by the state necessary for our guests, vendors and volunteers.
The mission of the Chappell Hill Historical Society is to encourage the preservation of records, buildings, sites and other items of historical interest to the community and to educate the general public as to the historical significance of the same. The Chappell Hill Historical Society solely hosts these Festivals as a method of fundraising for the Chappell Hill Historical Society. These Festivals help us accomplish our mission, and as we move forward with future Festivals, we are reevaluating the structure, the equitable underwriting of these Festivals by all of our partners in Chappell Hill, and the need to address not only the public health but public safety needs that must be enhanced to continue these Festivals. We encourage the community to get involved, volunteer and share their ideas as we prepare for our 2021 Festivals.