FLUSHING — Flushing’s traditional Harvest Festival will not be happening as planned this year, due to COVID-19 concerns and restrictions on outdoor gatherings.
Late last week, the Flushing Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors decided to cancel the 2020 Harvest Festival, which had been scheduled for Sept. 26. Organizers said that they had to regrettably pull the plug on this year’s event because of the ongoing COVID-19 spread and the state’s ban on outdoor crowds of more than 100 people.
“The past three weeks, we have been gathering information from businesses, members and the community on their opinions with holding the event,” organizers said in a joint statement. “The popular opinion was to hold Harvest Fest but to enforce restrictions. Unfortunately, at this time, the amount of people allowed to gather outdoors in our regions is just 100 and Harvest Fest draws a much larger crowd than 100.”
Festival organizers said that even if the state’s 100-person limit on outdoor gatherings were to be adjusted to allow more people to gather, the Chamber still would not have enough volunteers to enforce social distancing and/or mask wearing. As one of the area’s favorite autumn events, Harvest Fest draws hundreds of locals to downtown Flushing each year.
Earlier this spring, the Chamber decided to postpone the Flushing Summer Festival, in hopes of holding the event later in the summer or somehow combining it with Harvest Fest. However, Summerfest was also officially cancelled last month.
Despite nixing the 2020 Harvest Festival, the Chamber’s Board of Directors said that they will be exploring some alternative options to celebrate autumn in Flushing this year.
“Please keep watching our website and social media as the committee will be working to develop fun ways to get our businesses and community members involved,” organizers said. “We will continue some traditional activities and add new fall activities that are responsible and acceptable per circumstances.”
To see updates on possible alternative Harvest Fest events, visit flushingchamber.com.