Autumnfest 2020 canceled

Autumnfest 2020 canceled

WOONSOCKET – The Autumnfest Steering Committee announced on Tuesday that Autumnfest 2020 has officially been canceled.

The announcement came shortly after Gov. Gina Raimondo announced gathering sizes for public events would be limited to 250 people during phase three of her reopening plan. Despite holding off on the decision and soliciting ideas from the public, the Steering Committee said in a press release that planning for the Columbus Day weekend event was simply not possible.

“We are deeply saddened by this decision, however, we have chosen this path to put our community first and keep all safe and healthy as our top priority,” the statement said. “The planning for Autumnfest does take all year long, and trying to accomplish the logistical tasks in this uncertain environment with regulations and restrictions constantly changing makes pulling off a celebration like this nearly impossible.”

Garrett Mancieri, general chairperson of the Steering Committee, said it was the first time in the event’s 42-year history organizers had canceled the event.

“We want to assure everyone that we have every intention of bringing this festival back next year, and we are determined to make it better than it ever was before to continue this long standing tradition of holding the largest festival in northern Rhode Island here in the beautiful and historic city of Woonsocket,” he said.

Though there will be no gathering in World War II Veterans Memorial Park, Steering Committee members said they still plan to mark the occasion with smaller contests and promotions broadcast through their social media pages. In place of the traditional parade, the group plans to hold a vehicle parade on Monday, Oct. 12, honoring this year’s grand marshals – the essential workers and first responders “who are the real heroes of 2020,” according to the release.