The annual Apple n' Pork Festival has been canceled.
The Museum Board announced the decision Friday afternoon. Director Joey Long tells Regional Radio News given the state of the coronavirus pandemic in other parts of the country paired with the fact the guidelines for Illinois' Phase 4 Restore Illinois guidance would likely not allow the festival to work.
The Apple n' Pork Festival is the largest fundraiser of the year for not only the Homestead but also so many non-profits that set up on the grounds and raise money during the weekend as well. While it will be difficult to raise all the money, Long anticipates smaller fundraisers having to help supplement those losses.
Long confessed her tone is one of disappointment but hopes we all make it through this time in good health and looks forward to bringing back the festival in 2021.
DeWitt County Museum Association President, Daniel Hauffee, in a release Friday said, quote - “Orders issued at the state level as well as the local level will be adhered to. Thus, the festival, which draws an average of 80,000 attendees from DeWitt County, across the state of Illinois, as well as the country, and involves the volunteer labor of hundreds of local residents, would pose an elevated risk to those visitors, volunteers and vendors in attendance as well as our home community.”
Held annually the last full weekend of September, this fall festival was established in 1967 by the DeWitt County Museum Association to provide the funds necessary to restore, maintain, and operate the C.H. Moore Homestead DeWitt County Museum. The Apple ‘n Pork Festival was officially trademarked by the DeWitt County Museum Association in 2018. While originally serving as a means to generate funds for the DeWitt County Museum Association, the festival has grown and evolved to include numerous local non-profit organizations that serve DeWitt County and rely heavily on the event to carry out their own mission statements as well.