(ORLEANS) – After a lot of careful thought, the Orleans Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has announced the 2021 Dogwood Festival is canceled as a precautionary measure due to COVID-19.
The town’s trademark festival was set to take place from April 24th through May 1st.
“We have been in close conversation with Orange County Health officials for several months now,” said Chamber Executive Director Robert Henderson. “However, sadly it’s just not going to be feasible at this stage for 2021.”
Henderson noted that after on-going dialogue with local health
officials, the coronavirus pandemic “is far from over, and we’re at long
last seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, so we need to still be doing
everything that we can to stop the spread of the virus.”
“At the end of the day, the general consensus that both organizers and county officials could agree upon was while we are moving in the right direction, we are not quite there yet or ready to hold a large-scale type of event within a few short weeks, which traditionally attracts several thousands of visitors,” Henderson added.
Chamber President Randy Clark echoed the same sentiments in regards to his disappointment in having to cancel the event.
“The general health and safety of our community, visitors, and volunteers must continue to be our top priority,” Clark added. “Plus, it takes a considerable amount of fundraising to make a festival happen, and organizers are more than reluctant to lean on local businesses that are only just beginning to try to get back on their feet from the lingering effects of COVID-19. “
Wendy Sprigler who serves as the Chamber’s longtime treasurer noted that
many of the town’s businesses and industries are still struggling
“The overall economic impact of COVID will be with us for some time to come,” she said. “The Pandemic has seriously affected the business community, the chamber organization itself, and the town as well.”
“We are again in serious discussions to explore ways we can possibly hold some type of community celebration or event possibly during the latter part of the year,” Henderson added. “But those details will come at a later time.”