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Heart of VA Festival canceled

Officials with the Heart of Virginia Festival Board announced Friday, March 20, that this year’s festival, scheduled for May 2, has been canceled due to the coronavirus.

“The decision to cancel the Heart of Virginia Festival was not an easy decision,” Board Chairperson Susan Sullivan said. “There were many factors to consider. In the end, the board knew canceling the festival was what needed to happen. With everything going on in the world today, it was in everyone’s best interest, the crafters, artists, food vendors and, of course, our guests coming to the festival, that we cancel the festival for everyone’s overall health and safety.”

According to the festival’s website, vendors or sponsors who have already registered for the festival will receive a refund.

The Heart of Virginia Festival is a celebration of the arts, crafts, culture, and music that has taken place the first Saturday in May every year since it was founded in 1979 in the Historic Downtown Farmville District.

“This festival has been part of the fabric of our community for more than four decades,” Farmville Mayor David Whitus said. “But given our current environment, it is the correct decision.”

Whitus further said that with the amount of planning that is needed to hold the festival each year, the board needed to make the decision now.

“It is sad that it is canceled,” Whitus said. “But this is where we are now.”

Michelle Smith, who owns CBDbyMichelle, says this year’s festival would have been her first ever, and she was looking forward to connecting with people in the community while promoting her business.

“I am very saddened by the cancellation but feel it is the best decision given the circumstances,” Smith said.

Author, Francis Wood who has been involved in the Heart of Virginia Festival since its inception serving on the board in the beginning and for the past 25 years attending the event as a vendor selling his well-known books, says he will also miss taking part in this year’s festival.

“Due to the extreme situation the coronavirus has presented, I do think it is a prudent decision to cancel the event,” Wood said. “The Heart of Virginia Festival has a strong and lasting tradition, and one glitch will not harm it going forward.”

The 2021 festival is scheduled for May 1.