The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the cancelation of two beloved fall festivals.
The AppleUmpkin Festival and the Letchworth Arts & Crafts Show & Sale will not be taking place in 2020. Organizers of the events announced the news last week.
“Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and continued New York State restrictions, the 2020 AppleUmpkin Festival is postponed until 2021,” a July 15 post reads on the Apple-Umpkin Facebook page.
The fall harvest festival is held annually each September in the gaslight village of Wyoming. The event includes arts, crafts and food vendors, as well as a bake-off auction, the famed apple-pumpkin pie, and music and entertainment. The event was scheduled for Sept. 26 and 27 this year.
“We apologize for any inconvenience and look forward to welcoming everyone back to our festival in 2021,” the post announcing the cancelation concludes.
Festival vendors who registered for AppleUmpkin will be contacted by the event committee for further details, according to the Facebook post.
On Saturday, July 18, the Arts Council for Wyoming County announced that the Letchworth Arts & Crafts Show & Sale was canceled. The Board of Directors at ACWC made a unanimous decision to call the event — which would have been held Oct. 10 to 12 in Letchworth State Park.
This is the first time in 45 years that the festival will not be taking place. It was not an easy decision for the board, said Jacqueline Swaby, executive director of the Arts Council.
“ACWC’s priority is the health and safety of the artisans, volunteers, support staff and the community,” Swaby said. “This was a heartbreaking and difficult decision for our organization to make, as it will have a significant economic impact on our artisans and all other entities who have contributed to the 44-year success of this event. But as COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, and after numerous consultations, meetings and a survey of the artisans, it became clear that in the face of an unprecedented situation, we needed to make this tough choice.”
The Letchworth Arts & Crafts Show attracts upwards of 90,000 visitors. More than 300 artisans participate in the event. Pottery, paintings, quilts, handcrafted jewelry, photography, furniture, packaged specialty foods and more are typically available for purchase.
The festival is one of the top 100 classic art festivals in the country, having been recognized by Sunshine Artist Magazine.
Although the event cannot take in person, the public will still be able to support vendors through online shopping. Swaby is making a public plea to everyone who can do so.
“The good news is that the ACWC will provide an opportunity through its website for the public to shop with artisans who already have an online presence,” a news release from the Arts Council states. “The link to the artisans will be available starting on the weekend that LACS would have been held (Columbus Day Weekend), and will continue to be accessible through the end of 2020.”
Information on the artisans’ links to the ACWC’s website will be updated as it becomes available.
“We invite you to make plans now with friends and family members to have a special LACS online shopping party by visiting our website – artswyco.org – during that weekend; it will be the door to many of the artisans’ website,” Swaby said. “You will find that special and unique product that will never be found on a retail store shelf.”
By Natalie Muster, Warsaw Country Courier