The annual Long's Park Art Festival, which draws artists, craftspeople and audiences from around the country to Lancaster each Labor Day weekend, has been canceled for Labor Day weekend this year, the Long's Park Amphitheater Foundation announced Wednesday.
The show, which had been scheduled for Sept. 4-6, is being canceled over concerns about the spread of COVID-19 within large crowds.
The show is not only a very popular event for art show fans in Lancaster County and around a multi-state region, it is a major fundraiser supporting the summer concert series organized by the foundation.
The arts festival, which draws around 11,000 people over three days each year, is also considered one of the largest outdoor arts and crafts shows in the country.
The show also features three days of music, food vendors and activities for kids.
“We’ve been holding off on any decisions about this for some time because we know our community looks forward to it every year,” the festival's director, Rick Faulkner, said in a news release Wednesday. “But as the event draws closer, we’re quickly losing ground on the ability to provide the same caliber show people are expecting, while also having no clear direction about whether Lancaster will be allowed to host large gatherings by September.”
The 200 artisans who would have brought their wares to sell in booths throughout the park were chosen in March. The foundation said in the news release that it plans to promote those artists and their work on its website and social media channels.
The first arts festival was held in the park during the Bicentennial, July 4, 1976. The first Labor Day festival to raise money for the concert series was held in 1979.
The foundation's in-person concert series is canceled for this summer, as well, and is being replaced with digital concerts that start with a prerecorded performance by Thornetta Davis that will shown online at 7 p.m. Sunday, June 7.
Artists applications for the 2021 Long's Park Art Show will be available in December.