Huntington’s annual Chilifest canceled due to coronavirus concerns
Huntington, W.Va. — The annual Chilifest that supports the Ronald McDonald House of the Tri-State has been canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. This would have been the 37th year for the event.
Organizer Ron Smith said that after reviewing the Gov. Jim Justice’s guidelines for fairs and festivals, there was no feasible way to run the event as it should be and did not want to jeopardize the health of those who would come to support it.
“We’ve come to the decision that it’s not going to happen this year and that next year we will come back bigger and better than ever and really put on a great show for people,” Smith said.
ChiliFest is one of Huntington’s largest events, drawing thousands to the downtown area. The event serves as the main fundraiser for the Huntington Ronald McDonald House, which serves families with very sick children by providing lodging, meals, toiletries and more – all while keeping families together during a medical crisis.
The first ChiliFest began in 1983 and as well as being a fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House and WSAZ Children’s Charities, is also a qualifying event to represent West Virginia in the International Chili Society World’s Chili Championship.