Lori Reynolds, organizer of the annual Harbor Fest event in Boothbay Harbor, has announced that the ninth annual, late summer, 10-day event (Sept. 3-12) has been canceled for 2020, due to the coronavirus outbreak.
In a statement to her supporters and friends on Tuesday, Reynolds said, “I had been holding out hope that this would not become necessary, but I am writing to let you know that I will be announcing the cancellation of the ninth annual Harbor Fest later this week. I wanted the Fest Family to be the first to know before any official announcements were made.
“I love producing this festival each year because it's about celebrating all of you, and your commitment to our community. The festival will not go on, however, the celebration of you will.”
Reynolds said in the coming months she will continue to reach out to the festival fan base and showcase the Fest family of businesses.
“It will be important to keep our community at the forefront of their minds, so they will return to us as soon as possible,” said Reynolds, who urges the participating businesses to send her updates or announcements so she can “pass along the good vibes.” She is regularly posting updates on businesses on her Facebook pages (Boothbay Harbor Fest Boothbay Harbor Event) and on Instagram. She urges Harbor Fest fans to visit the event’s website and Facebook pages for more information.
Reynolds has also posted in Harbor Fest’s e-news the direct links to the participating businesses and how the public can still support them through the year and she will continue to do so.
“Before Governor Mills announced her four-phase reopening plan, I had worked on an alternative format for the tasting event that could allow for social distancing while still encouraging fall visitors to come, and locals to get out and show support. Ultimately, I just felt her conditions left too many unknowns and all roads led to canceling completely,” said Reynolds.
Reynolds said those attendees who had already registered and paid for the events will be refunded their money, or, if they desire, to apply the money toward their attendance at the 2021 event.
Reynolds wished to recognize Boothbay Railway Village, which was to host one of the new Harbor Fest events planned for 2020 and now planned for 2021 -- the Vintage Market at the Vintage Village.
One of Harbor Fest’s events is the annual Harbor Fest (5K) and Half Marathon. Race director Casey Clark Kelley issued the following statement on its cancellation: “The impact of COVID-19 on our local community, state, and the greater nation requires us to be socially responsible during these unprecedented times, so we have made the difficult decision to cancel our race that draws people from all over the country. We know this will be a disappointment for those of you who look forward to this event each year, but for the health and safety of our volunteers, staff, runners and spectators, we know this is the best decision at this time. We hopefully look forward to a great race in 2021.
“The YMCA is offering three options to those who have already registered for the race: refund; deferred registration to the 2021 race; or donation to the YMCA’s Annual Fund to support community outreach during the COVID-19 crisis. Please fill out the survey to indicate your preference. Please go llow this link to indicate your choice https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PVQTTJF
“September in Boothbay will not be the same without tasting, toasting and laughing with our Harbor Fest Friends. There is really only one thing we can do ... have twice as much fun in 2021! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram or subscribe to our newsletter for developments on Harbor Fest 2021! We will have exciting new plans to accompany the seasoned favorites.,” Reynolds said. “Until then, stay well, think positive and smile often!”
This article has been updated from its original posting.