PARKE COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - Officials in Parke County have canceled one of the state's biggest festivals.
On Monday, the Parke County commissioners voted to cancel the Covered Bridge Festival for 2020.
In a 2-0 vote, the commissioners voted to cancel the festival this year. One commissioner, Dan Collom, abstained from voting. He cited the fact that he and his wife are typically apart of the festival and he didn't feel comfortable voting on this topic.
This is due to concerns over COVID-19.
Commissioner president Jim Meece said it is a tough decision. But, he said the risk was too high.
"There's no way you could put, how many lives for so much money. There's no way to put that. So, that health and safety and the welfare of our people has got to be paramount on our minds," Meece said.
Meece said the festival brings in some money, but it's not the amount that everyone really thinks. He said the commissioners knew there would be no way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 if they had the event.
"This is a county-wide festival. There's simply no way we could enforce any kind of masking requirements from the state or social distancing. So, I have a no doubt we would have transmittal of that infection," Meece said.
The festival was originally set to start on October, 9.
The commissioners said with things like the indy 500 not having fans, colleges canceling fall sports and other festivals being canceled. They couldn't think the covered bridge fest would be any different.
Meece said they plan on coming back bigger and better next year!