CANE HILL -- For the second consecutive year, the Cane Hill Harvest Festival has been canceled because of covid-19 concerns.
Jim Lewis, chairman of the festival committee, said members have worked hard planning the 2021 festival, but with covid-19 cases increasing in the area, the committee voted to cancel to keep community members safe.
"I think it's going to get worse before it gets better," Lewis said. "We wanted to make a wise decision and be a good neighbor."
Lewis noted that the festival attracts hundreds, maybe 1,000 or more visitors, and has many volunteers.
"That multiplies the risk. That exposure transfers to our grandchildren or to their children," he said.
The Arkansas Department of Health strongly recommends several guidelines in hosting events. These recommendations are fairly demanding and Lewis said the committee did not think it had the resources to accommodate all the recommendations.
"We were disappointed," he said. "We've worked hard the last four months. But when you boil it all down, you have to be good to each other."
The committee had planned some new activities for the festival, including walking tours to historic buildings and homes and a new line up of entertainment bands.
"We thought we could just keep everything outside and then it (covid) kept raising its head more to the point where we are today."
The committee will reevaluate in the spring for the 2022 harvest festival, he said.