Citing the COVID-19 outbreak, the Greater Columbus Arts council board has voted to cancel the 2020 Columbus Arts Festival, formerly scheduled for June 12-14.
"As much as we desperately want to go on as planned, we recognize that we must put the health and safety of our patrons, artists, performers, vendors and sponsors first," said Tom Katzenmeyer, President & CEO of GCAC, in a press release. "As we’ve watched the COVID-19 pandemic unfold, with all the uncertainty it holds for the near future, we could not in good conscience hold a festival that would bring artists and visitors from 38 states and four countries, and more than 500,000 people within close proximity to each other on the downtown riverfront."
In past press conferences, Dr. Amy Acton, director of the Ohio Department of Health, has said that we could see the impacts of COVID-19 lasting into May with a gradual drop-off. Currently, Columbus has seen many events in May be canceled including Taco Fest and Six One Pour, both citing public health taking priority over the festivals.
This announcement comes as one of the first events in June to officially cancel due to the Coronavirus. Though it won't be taking place this year, Katzenmeyer remains hopeful for the future of Arts Fest.
"I will miss this energy. I will miss these people. I will miss being a part of this experience, and yes, I will miss fresh lemonade shake ups. But we made this decision to ensure that we all remain healthy and able to enjoy all these wonderful experiences at next year’s Arts Festival. And that is where I have my heart set."
In Central Ohio, June also plays host to the Memorial Tournament, the Pride Parade and Festival, and the Creekside Jazz and Blue Fest. 614Now will have more updates about upcoming events as they become available.