Food truck competition, other festivals canceled due to COVID-19

Many events scheduled for the next few months in Clark and Champaign counties have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s a great community event and fundraiser and we didn’t feel it would be safe at this time. You have so many people packed into a relatively small space and we have volunteers of all ages,” Eddie Bell, the Springfield Rotary Gourmet Food Truck Competition publicity chair said. “We can’t properly distance people and have lines that get tremendously long and in the entertainment area.”

Here is a list of festivals that have been canceled:

1. Springfield Rotary Gourmet Food Truck Competition

The Springfield Rotary Gourmet Food Truck Competition scheduled for Aug. 15 at Veteran’s Park in Springfield was canceled in early June.

The competition usually features around 30 food trucks competing for cash prizes. Attendees choose their favorite food trucks.

Organizers canceled the event over health concerns in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re still committed to our partners,” said Bell. “We’re disappointed and we know the community will be upset. It’s sad to see events we look forward to canceled but I think out of the welfare of everyone it’s necessary. We hope to be back doing it in 2021.”

ExploreSpringfield Rotary cancels annual food truck competition

2. Fair at New Boston

The Fair at New Boston scheduled for Sept. 5 and 6 at George Rogers Clark Park in Springfield was recently canceled.

The Fair recreates early Ohio life from roughly 1790-1810, with 600 costumed participants, battles, demonstrations, food, vendors and an authentic recreation of a Native American village.

Organizers consulted with the Clark County Combined Health District. Given rules on gatherings and proper social distancing, the board decided it couldn’t meet the requirements.

“The decision was heart-wrenching,” said Phil Campbell, president of the George Rogers Clark Heritage Association, which sponsors the Fair. “We were all hoping this would turn out differently.”

ExploreFair at New Boston canceled for 2020 amid coronavirus

3. CultureFest

CultureFest, another festival that was recently canceled, was scheduled to be held in September at Springfield City Hall Plaza.

In previous years, the festival has featured live entertainment, vendors and cultural food.

“As we continue through the summer, we are continually faced with many unknowns and changing recommendations related to COVID-19. It is impossible to know where we will be in September, when we would traditionally gather to celebrate Springfield’s diverse culture and heritage.” Said Shannon Meadows, City of Springfield Director of Community Development.

Meadows added that officials and community partners will work together to find alternative ways “to celebrate the diverse culture that defines Springfield’s heritage in a healthy and socially responsible manner.”

ExploreSpringfield's CultureFest canceled

4. Heritage of Flight Festival

In mid-July, the Heritage of Flight Festival in New Carlisle scheduled for Oct. 2 through 4 was canceled.

The festival usually features a classic car cruise-in, a parade of planes, family activities, vendors and live entertainment

“We tried to hold out as long as we possibly can to keep Heritage of Flight going, but at this time, we have decided to cancel it,” Marshall Gorby, a member of the Festival’s board said.

In replacement of the festival, New Carlisle Mayor Mike Lowrey said the city is going to work on possibly putting together something online the weekend of what would have been the festival.

ExploreHeritage of Flight Festival in New Carlisle canceled

5. Apple Butter Festival

Enon’s Apple Butter Festival scheduled for Oct. 10 and 11 was canceled in May due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

The Festival features homemade apple butter cooked over open fires.

Organizers said dates for next year’s celebrations have not been set.

ExploreEnon's 41st Annual Apple Butter Festival canceled

The News-Sun will continue to update this story as we learn about more impacted festivals and fairs in Clark and Champaign counties. To add an event, email Natalie.Jones@coxinc.com.

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