1st time in history, Norfolk Harborfest canceled due to COVID-19 crisis


Credit: Festevents

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The 44th Norfolk Harborfest has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s the first time in history the entire event has been canceled, Festevents confirmed.

Norfolk Harborfest was scheduled for June 5 through June 7, but will be canceled this year due to the impacts of COVID-19 on large gatherings. The festival is held annually in Downtown Norfolk and celebrates maritime life with tall ships, the Parade of Sail, performances and fireworks.

Harborfest will be back next year from June 11 to June 13, 2021.

The decision to cancel the festival came one day after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced a “Stay at Home” order effective until June 10 to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the commonwealth.

“Norfolk Harborfest, the longest running maritime event in the nation, is one of Hampton Roads’ best loved traditions which honors every year our strong maritime and military communities,” Norfolk Festevents CEO Karen Scherberger wrote in a news release. “While we will not be able to continue this tradition together in person this year, the spirit of Harborfest continues every day as we together in our homes honor our maritime and military partners who continue to be on the front line during this crisis.”

The 2020 Bayou Boogaloo Music and Cajun Food Festival was scheduled to happen just weeks after Harborfest. The Bayou Boogaloo will be postponed from its original schedule of June 26 through June 28 to a later date, according to a news release.

A new date has not been chosen for the Bayou Boogaloo yet.

“Please be assured that when this is over, we will be ready to resume our work immediately to bring our communities back together again in friendship and celebration. Until then, stay safe, well, and healthy,” Scherberger wrote in a news release.

Here are other Norfolk Festevents postponed or canceled events.

  • 44th Annual Norfolk Harborfest: Music, Food & Maritime Festival (canceled)
  • 31st Annual Bayou Boogaloo Music & Cajun Food Festival (postponed, new dates TBD)
  • 14th Annual Spring Town Point Virginia Wine Festival (postponed, new dates TBD)
  • Chip & Sip: A Waterfront Happy Hour Golf Series (postponed, new dates TBD)
  • TowneBank Fountain Park Opening (postponed; new dates TBD)
  • Big Bands on the Bay at Ocean View Beach Park (May, June dates postponed; new dates TBD)
  • Friends of Festevents Peter G. Decker, Jr. Golf Tournament (postponed, new date TBD)
  • Friends of Festevents Gala (postponed, new date TBD)

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