FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The board of directors for the annual Johnny Appleseed Festival decided to cancel the event. The decision was made for the safety of volunteers, vendors, partners, and the community.
In a release, festival organizers said the event is classified by the CDC as a “highest risk” level activity for the spread of COVID-19. That classification comes from the logistics of the festival, where social distancing nearly impossible.
The board considered postponing the Johnny Appleseed Festival until the fall. But because of the uncertainty of the pandemic, they decided to cancel.
Organizers said the number of attendees cannot be controlled. People from outside the Fort Wayne area also attend the event. They also recognize there are areas where people congregate.
“What makes cancelling the festival so hard is not only disappointing the tens of thousands of festival goers who look forward to the traditional family event with its tasty food, trappers and traders, handmade crafts, antiques, period demonstrators and entertainment. It is also about all our vendors and performers losing income, and the nearly 40 local Not for Profit organizations losing the opportunity to raise funds for their organizations. The Johnny Appleseed Festival is often their largest fundraiser of the year. Funds, they count on to carry out their missions throughout our community,” said Becky Butler, board president for the Johnny Appleseed Festival, Inc.
JAF, Inc.’s mission is to educate and simulate historical interest in the public to better understand Johnny Appleseed.
The 46th annual Johnny Appleseed Festival will be held September 18 and 19, 2021 at Johnny Appleseed Park.