2020 Parkersburg Homecoming canceled

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - The 2020 Parkersburg Homecoming festival has been canceled, organizers said Wednesday afternoon, citing a lack of "clear direction" from state officials amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The festival had been scheduled for Aug. 14-15.

"We, along with the rest of the fairs and festivals, have been patiently waiting to determine what events will be allowed, and what restrictions, if any, will be required during this pandemic health crisis, the Homecoming committee said in a news release. "As of now, no clear directions have been given by government entities as to when mass gatherings can be started or what restrictions will be in place."

In the absence of such guidance, the committee said fundraising, getting permits and hiring attractions and vendors would be "impossible."

Organizers also acknowledged that the city of Parkersburg could be facing budget problems related to the pandemic and said canceling Homecoming will save the city money.

"We want to be a partner with the city of Parkersburg and know our decision with lessen their burden a bit," organizers said.

With this year's festivities canceled, organizers said they are already looking ahead to 2021 while also working on a special event or two during the fall or winter.

"Our mission is to celebrate our community," organizers said. "With the ordeal all our citizens have endured, we are hopeful to have some special event that can help restore a sense of normalcy to our lives."

In addition, organizers said they are continuing to work toward having normal festival pageants so that the region can be represented at the annual West Virginia State Fairs and Festivals Association Pageant in January.