The organizers of Old Town Riverfest have canceled the 25th edition of the community festival, originally scheduled for Sept. 26 and 27.
Committee members said they had held out on officially canceling for as long as they could, in hopes that the coronavirus pandemic might be fully under control before the fall. Though Maine’s numbers are low compared to the rest of the country, a ban on gatherings of more than 50 people will likely remain in place for at least several more months.
This year’s event would have come on the heels of a difficult 2019 for Old Town, as a major fire destroyed several downtown buildings and left 11 people homeless, just one week before last year’s festival. The festival typically features a Friday night fireworks display, a Saturday morning parade and many vendors and food booths from community organizations, among other events.
Organizers say they plan to put all their efforts toward a 2021 festival.
Countless other festivals and fairs have been canceled across the state, such as the Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland, the Bangor State Fair, the Blue Hill Fair, the Common Ground Fair in Unity and the Fryeburg Fair, all held in mid- to late summer or fall. Some late fall and winter events, such as Halloween events, Veteran’s Day parades and Christmas festivals, have yet to be canceled.