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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Frankfort Fall Festival 2020 ‘Unanimously’ canceled

The 2020 Frankfort Fall Festival has been canceled.

“Unanimously the Festival Committee and the Chamber of Commerce Board agree that we have no viable alternatives to make the Fall Festival 2020 a reality. With much sadness and some tears, Frankfort Fall Festival 2020 is canceled.”

That announcement came Wednesday afternoon in a joint letter to residents from 2020 Frankfort Fall Fest Chair John Clavio and 2020 Frankfort Chamber Board President Bert Behnke.

The Frankfort Fall Festival is nationally ranked #3 festival of its kind, normally held over the Labor Day Weekend.  The festival normally hosts over 250 artisans from across the United States and other countries.

The full letter can be read below:

“Navigating through a global pandemic does not come with a playbook or guidebook. The facts, data, information, discussions and decisions are valid for only a minuscule moment of time. What seemed a week ago, a day ago or even an hour ago, is not what it is right now. Just a few short weeks ago, the State of Illinois entered Phase 4 of its “Restore Illinois” Plan. We were collectively moving to reopen and proceeding forward to what would become the new normal. Hopeful that we would soon see a path to Phase 5.

At the same time, the Frankfort Chamber of Commerce and the Fall Festival Committee shared that they continued to move forward with the planning of Fall Festival. It was noted that the final outcome of the event was “…..much bigger than simply the Committee, the Chamber or even the Village of Frankfort”. The Frankfort Fall Festival is the number 3 nationally ranked festival of it’s kind. Over Labor Day Weekend the Chamber of Commerce and our Community traditionally hosts over 250 unique artisans from around the United States and other countries. While Illinois is maintaining it’s numbers at this time, we watch our Nation experience significant upticks. Upticks that have a direct impact on the Residents of Frankfort and the Volunteers and Patrons of the Festival.

It would have been very easy in May of this year, to make an announcement that Fall Festival was cancelled. “We look forward to next year, better than ever. Thanks for your support and understanding”. Unfortunately, it is not that easy. Fall Festival, though run by the Chamber of Commerce, partners with many civic and philanthropic organizations who rely on the event to fund their efforts in our Community. Not having Fall Festival means not allowing these organizations to give back and pay it forward in the same manner they have in the past. In some cases, these organizations may be forced to cease their operations all together.

Maintaining that health and safety was and continues to be the top priority, the Chamber of Commerce and the Fall Festival Committee spent a great deal of time to review numerous solutions and alternatives to make Fall Festival 2020 a reality. Unfortunately none of them support the brand of the Fest, the Chamber of Commerce or the Village of Frankfort. Unanimously the Festival Committee and the Chamber of Commerce Board agree that we have no viable alternatives to make the Fall Festival 2020 a reality. With much sadness and some tears, Frankfort Fall Festival 2020 is cancelled.

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