National Peanut Festival canceled for 2020

This will be the first time since World War Two era that signature event won't happen
Published: Aug. 21, 2020 at 9:33 AM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -The National Peanut Festival will be canceled, with a formal announcement coming soon. That has been confirmed by several people with knowledge of the situation.

The decision came at an emergency meeting of the Festival Board of Directors on Thursday night. Members contacted by WTVY said they had been ordered not to discuss the matter publicly.

About two hours before that meeting, Reithoffer Shows, Inc., the festival’s midway provider, posted on its Facebook page, “Its 2020 and fun has been canceled. But we know the comeback is always stronger than the setback. Keep the faith.”

At least 10 of Reithoffer's 13 events listed on its website won't happen this year.

By mid-day Friday the National Peanut Festival had confirmed the cancellation with this statement:

After much consideration, the Board of the National Peanut Festival, the City of Dothan, Houston County and Reithoffer Shows have jointly made the decision to postpone the 2020 National Peanut Festival and all events associated with the Festival until further notice. This difficult decision was driven by the impact of COVID-19 and the desire of all three entities to do what was best for the staff, volunteers, fairgoers, and all parties involved with the Festival.

The National Peanut Festival has a long-standing commitment to safety and excellence. Discussions surrounding this year’s event have been ongoing for several weeks and in fairness to all involved, the decision needed to be made now. The Festival, City and County considered all aspects of holding the Festival including CDC recommendations, guidance from the State Health Department and potential impact on the community and feel this decision is in the best interest of the community.

Coronvirus numbers have not consistently trended downward in Alabama, even with health protocols. Social distancing would have been a major concern had the festival gone on. Other factors also led to the decision, per sources. Some of those could be disclosed in the cancellation announcement.

This will be the first time the National Peanut Festival has been called off since World War Two.

Copyright 2020 WTVY. All rights reserved.

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