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Pumpkin festival, Bridge Day canceled due to COVID-19 concerns

Two major crowd draws for the Tri-State region this fall have announced cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Milton, West Virginia, organizers of the West Virginia Pumpkin Festival posted on Wednesday that the event, which would have been slated for early October, has been called off.

“It is with a heavy heart that we post this,” the post read. “The WV Pumpkin Festival Board voted Tuesday evening to cancel the 2020 festival. The board is heartbroken over this decision. We have been monitoring the restrictions and guidelines set forth by the state government for fairs and festivals and we feel like there is no way for us to put on the festival that all of you have come to love. We think it is in the best interest of our guests, vendors and volunteers, health and safety, to make this decision. This cancellation includes the festival and all pre-festival activities including the pageants and parade.”

And in Fayetteville, West Virginia, it was announced that the annual Bridge Day event in October, in which thousands walk across the New River Gorge Bridge and watch teams of BASE jumpers parachute from the structure, will not take place this year.

“We appreciate your patience as we have waited to make a decision regarding Bridge Day 2020,” a message on the Bridge Day website read. “The Bridge Day Commission is committed to doing our part to protect our communities, staff, volunteers, attendees and fellow Mountaineers. With that in mind, we have decided to cancel this year’s Bridge Day event, which was scheduled for October 17.”

It is the second cancellation in the event’s 40-year history. Organizers canceled festivities in 2001, due to security concerns following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., which had taken place one month earlier.