BRISTOL â€“ The Mum Festival Committee announced the cancelation of this yearâ€™s festival due to COVID-19.
Mickey Goldwasser, marketing and planning co-chair, said The Mum Festival has been Bristolâ€™s fall marquee community-focused event for almost 60 years. The Bristol Exchange Club and the Mum Festival Committee, after â€ścareful and thoughtful considerationâ€ť have decided to postpone the â€śTraditional Mum Festivalâ€ť originally scheduled for Sept. 24 through 27 until next year.
While the traditional Mum Festival, which includes a carnival and parade, has been postponed this year, for continuity sake, Goldwasser said the 58th Mum Festival Committee is looking into ways to have a presence this year, such as working with the mayor to move the Bristol Farmerâ€™s Market to Hope Street and expanding that venue.
â€śA best-case scenario may include adding an auto show and some music,â€ť he said.
The committee will be looking to announce these plans in July.
â€śOur goal is to have a presence this year and to help keep hope alive during this unprecedented time,â€ť said Jack Ferraro, general chairman of the Mum Festival.
Ferraro said the Mum Festival will also be rolling out some â€śfun-raisersâ€ť over the next few weeks and encourages residents to â€śstay tunedâ€ť for these announcements.
â€śTo be clear, we did not make this decision lightly, and our decisions were based on the facts as we know them today, uncertainty of the pandemic going forward, and because of the responsibility and genuine concern we feel for our communityâ€ť said Ferraro, speaking on behalf of the committee. â€śWhile we recognize that this postponement of the actual event as we have come to love may come as a disappointment to those that have enjoyed the festival over the years, we have chosen this direction based on a number of factors including feedback from our local, state and federal government, our committee, past vendors and sponsors as well as on the actions that other festivals throughout Connecticut and beyond have taken. The message is loud and clear: safety first.â€ť
The Mum Festival Committee has requested the Board of Finance preserve its grant for next year, relieving the city of any financial obligation for this year.
â€śWe hope that people will support the scaled down event this September and I also hope that this will be an opportunity to attract new faces to help sustain this fall festival into the future,â€ť Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu said. â€śWe greatly appreciate the Exchange Club returning the $35,000 to the city for this year's budget, and we look forward to 2021."
Ferraro thanked the community for their continued support and said he looks forward to celebrating the 59th year of the Mum Festival next year.
â€śThe 2021 festival will be held downtown, and it promises to be a really special event filled with all the experiences the community has come to love over the years,â€ť he said.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.