MILTON, Ga. (CW69 News at 10)
Despite the City’s high hopes, Crabapple Fest will not take place this spring.
The COVID-19 pandemic — and, with it, restrictions on how many people could gather in one place — originally prompted planners to move Crabapple Fest from its traditional fall date to April 2021. The hope was that the virus would have abated by then, and with it requirements for people to social distance.
Instead, in recent weeks especially, the opposite has happened. The number of coronavirus-related cases, hospitalizations and deaths has surged nationwide and right here in Georgia. And, while all this was going on, organizers understood that vendors needed to know soon if Crabapple Fest would or would not definitely happen — all the more so since many had spring plans originally. And the last thing the event team wanted was a last-minute cancellation, particularly with so much beyond their control.
An event of this large scale requires months of preparation and a wide range of advanced commitments to be a success. Organizers have high standards for Crabapple Fest, so it’s important that anything with that name is the best it can be. They would rather not have a diluted Crabapple Fest without the spirit, scope or top quality that the community has come to expect.
Thus, the City and its proud partner, the Crabapple Community Association, opted to cancel a spring Crabapple Fest and, with it, the prospect of tens of thousands gathering in Milton’s downtown in the not-too-distant future. This decision came about from prioritizing the safety of citizens, visitors and vendors, not to mention the integrity of Milton’s signature event.
If the coronavirus situation improves significantly, the City is open to possibly having smaller-scale events in the late spring or summer. And given what’s transpired in 2020 and the public’s strong desire for such events when the time is right, organizers are committed more than ever to making the next Crabapple Fest, in October 2021, even bigger and better than before. The City looks forward to welcoming the highest quality vendors, food and entertainment. And planners are cautiously optimistic that October 2021 will be much different, giving the opportunity once again to gather safely in large numbers.
So while disappointed, the City is positive about the longer term future for this event and for the city generally. Milton is a great community with so much to celebrate. And, when it’s safe, residents and visitors once again will enjoy high-quality, family-friendly, in-person events befitting a terrific city.