VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The Virginia Beach Neptune Festival has been canceled for the first time in its 47-year-old history due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 3-day festival at the Oceanfront was scheduled for September 25-27.

“After much discussion with our staff and leveraging the collective wisdom of our board, we have decided we cannot, in good conscience, proceed with a festival of Neptune’s magnitude during this time. With great reluctance, we have come to the only conclusion we feel is available to us, to skip our 2020 celebrations and move forward with developing plans to make the 2021 Neptune Festival the best ever.” said Nancy Creech, President and CEO of the Neptune Festival.

The festival typically brings about 400,000 visitors to the city and generates mores than $20 million in economic impact, with dozens of musical acts on 3 stages, a nationally recognized arts and crafts show, a parade, an international sand sculpting championship and more.

Promoters said maintaining safety guidelines would have been next to impossible.

“We are devastated,” said David Burton, Neptune Festival Chairman of the Board. “We understand that not only will we disappoint hundreds of thousands of people who have made the Neptune Festival their annual tradition, but the local businesses, hotels and restaurants who have depended on us to bring almost half a million people through their doors will be impacted. It was a very difficult decision, but no doubt history will reflect it was the right and responsible one.”

Not all 2020 events have been canceled outright. The King Neptune’s Invitational Golf Tournament, Neptune’s Coastal Craft Beer Festival, and Neptune’s 8k Race have been postponed or adjusted, pending future regulations.

Those who’ve purchased tickets to the 2020 event, or are a vendor, artistic, etc. the festival will contact you with more information.

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