Almont Celtfest cancels July festival

Special to WC Online

ALMONTE – One of the most popular local celebrations of the Celtic culture has made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Almonte Celtfest.

What would have been the 24th annual Celtfest, will not go ahead as scheduled on July 3 to July 5.

“It is with great disappointment and heavy hearts the board of directors for the 2020 festival have come to the decision this year’s festival cannot go on as planned,” the board released in a statement yesterday (April 14). “We are saddened to announce the July festival is officially cancelled.”

The event has grown in to one of the largest Celtic festival in the area.

“We at Almonte Celtfest have always aimed to facilitate a fun and safe environment in which to provide a variety of programming with music at the forefront,” the board said. “This year marks the 24th anniversary of a long-running festival that has become a summertime staple in the community and has grown steadily since its first event. Thanks to years of incredible support from visitors, residents, businesses and performers alike this festival has grown to attract crowds from all over and musical performances by nationally and internationally recognized acts. The amount of time and energy that is dedicated each year to the planning, organization, and execution of an event this large is no small feat and we are thankful to all of the volunteers who help out at each event throughout the year and on the festival weekend.”

With a ban on gatherings and a provincial state of emergency order that will last at least until the middle of May, organizers could not risk holding an even that is only two-and-a-half months away,

“Ultimately the safety of our families, guests, volunteers, vendors and performers are the top priority,” the board said. “We are determined to make your experience at Almonte Celtfest as wonderful as possible and the restrictions in place due to COVID-19 by all levels of government are to keep you safe. our board of directors also believe even if restrictions are lifted in time to have the festival it would be inappropriate to risk your safety this year. It is regrettable. We are disappointed. You are disappointed. We will miss everyone this year – the performers, artists, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, and of course our guests and visitors. Rest assured, this is not goodbye; Almonte Celtfest will be back for our 25th anniversary in July, 2021 with an even bigger and bolder festival and we cannot wait to celebrate with you.”

With the spare time, Celtfest volunteers and staff are looking for ways they can give back to the community.

“In the meantime, please be sure to stay tuned for information on potential alternative digital programming, other ways to engage while we ride this out, and check out our Celtfest Gives Back project on our website and social media accounts to find out how you can support local and stay involved or how we can support your business during these tough times,” the board said. “This project mirrors our past sponsorship, vendor and partner packages but is completely free for the 2020 to enable us to help our friends and neighbours in whatever way they need at this time.”

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