LEXINGTON, N.C. — The Triad is taking another major blow due to coronavirus.
The Barbecue Festival in Lexington that was set for Oct. 24, has been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns, its organizers announced Friday.
The organization said the potentially more than 100,000 attendees far exceeds Gov. Roy Coopers Executive Order 151 that prohibits large gatherings.
“Public safety is our ultimate priority, and after communication with healthcare officials, law enforcement entities, city officials, and others, there is no safe way to plan for and manage what has become the region’s largest one-day street festival in Historic Uptown Lexington, NC this year,” organizers said in a news release. “Given the unprecedented global health crisis, we are confident that we are making the best decision to protect the public and all involved.”
This will be the first time the event has been canceled in 36 years. Organizers said they plan to host smaller events and virtual elements.
“Please save the 2021 festival date. We fully intend to host the most exciting Barbecue Festival ever on Saturday, October 23, 2021,” organizers said.
The Lexington Barbecue Festival was established in 1983. It has achieved regional, statewide and national recognition for its excellence. The event has received many accolades including, Top Ten Food Festivals in America by Travel & Leisure Magazine, Top 20 October Event by Southeast Tourism Society, Library of Congress Local Legacies project, 50-plus awards through the N.C. Association of Festivals and Events awards program, Pinnacle Award Recipient from the International Festivals & Events Association, Top Ten Great Places to Celebrate Food by USA Today.