Coronavirus forces Pumpkintown Weekend Fest to cancel
BUSTI — A weekend craft festival that was to include vendors and helicopters in Busti has been abruptly canceled by organizers.
In a Facebook post Thursday afternoon, Pumpkintown on Baker Street Extension, announced the nixing of the Harvest Craft Festival “with a heavy heart.” The post said the site will remain open during normal hours but that it is not allowed to host the events planned.
“We are extremely disheartened by this decision, especially being notified only days before the event after weeks of advertising,” the post stated. “However, it is completely out of our hands.”
Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel said he did reach out to the business upon learning of the event and told them his concerns regarding potential large crowd sizes and children being in attendance. “I told them they needed to follow the (COVID-19 state) guidelines like everyone else,” he said, noting to The Post-Journal he did not tell them to cancel the festival.
According to the organizers, the event had 51 vendors lined up with rides planned by WNY Helicopters and Scott Lovley, pilot. “We want to apologize to all of the vendors who have dedicated time away from their lives to prepare and for the money spent to invest in materials that will no longer be used.”
Wendel also indicated on Thursday that the Health Department had not received notification of the weekend event on Wednesday. “Every festival in this county has been closed,” Wendel said regarding the pandemic.
Pumpkintown organizers, however, called the cancellation an “unexpected turn of events” but maintained it will continue to move forward.
“Our small business will survive the adversity this pandemic has brought only because of our amazing customers and followers,” the post concluded. “Small businesses are the heart of Chautauqua County, and no matter what, we are proud to be apart of that group.”