Harvest in the Wood canceled for a second year due to COVID concerns
RAVENSWOOD — The city's annual fall festival, which was scheduled for Sept. 24 through 26 has been canceled after health officials warned that the area is expected to see a peak in COVID cases at that time, event organizer Denise Toler said.
According to the state's dashboard, Jackson County has a 69.49% infection rate and a 9.3% positivity rate as of Wednesday. The festival was also canceled in 2020 because of COVID.
Toler said it was a difficult decision to make, but the health of the community is most important. Toler, a city council member who is also the public relations specialist for WVU Medicine at Jackson General Hospital said hospitals across West Virginia are already overwhelmed with COVID cases.
"We don't have beds to send anybody to — we cannot give them the treatment that they need because they're so overwhelmed with positive cases," Toler said. "It is very upsetting to us to have to cancel, but we do understand the reason why we're canceling."
Harvest in the Wood isn't the only festival that's been canceled in West Virginia this summer. The Mothman Festival in Point Pleasant was canceled in August out of COVID concerns — it was scheduled for Sept. 18 and 19. Fayette County's Oak Leaf Festival was canceled on its last day on Sept. 5 after several volunteers tested positive for COVID, according to WOAY.
Amanda Slaven, a member of the festival planning committee, said in a Facebook post that next year's festival dates have already been set for Sept. 22 through the 25.
— Katelyn Waltemyer (she/her) is the General Assignment and Enterprise Reporter for Jackson Newspapers in Jackson County, West Virginia. Have a news tip on local government or education? Or a good feature? You can reach Katelyn at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @Kate_Waltemyer.