First Town Days Festival canceled
NEW PHILADELPHIA There will be no First Town Days Festival this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Joe Croft, president of the First Town Days Festival Committee, announced the cancellation on Friday.
He said the decision was made after much deliberation.
"It is a major disappointment to our current Festival Committee members who as dedicated volunteers have helped organize and operate this great community event, some for over three decades, “Croft wrote in a prepared statement. ”I'm also certain this will be even more of a disappointment to the community as a whole who look forward to this festival every year.
“This is something we do for the citizens of New Philadelphia and Tuscarawas County to provide entertainment and enjoyment over the 4th of July weekend every year. This year especially we feel that it is important to have these types (of) events but we also understand the need to protect those who would attend as well as our obligation to remain compliant with the state of Ohio guidance during the current health crisis,” Croft wrote.
He said organizers were holding out hope for a more favorable announcement Thursday from Gov. Mike DeWine concerning festivals and fairs.
“But when that did not happen, it became apparent that it would be difficult at best to continue,” Croft wrote. “The city of New Philadelphia and the Park Board graciously supported the efforts of the First Town Days Festival Committee to delay any final decision on the chance that restrictions would ease in time to prepare; however this has not yet happened.
“We thank all of our supporters and volunteers and remain hopeful that we will be back strong as ever in 2021.”
DeWine said Thursday that zoos, museums, movie theaters, some other tourist attractions and entertainment venues may open Wednesday with health and safety restrictions. Casinos, racinos, amusement parks and water parks may open June 19 when they can follow safety protocols.