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This year's HerrinFesta Italiana canceled amid COVID-19 concerns
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This year's HerrinFesta Italiana canceled amid COVID-19 concerns

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HERRIN — HerrinFesta Italiana is the latest cancellation because of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.

Cris Trapani, president of HerrinFesta Italiana, announced that the festival would be canceled in a letter that appeared on the HerrinFesta website on Thursday morning.

This year's event, which would have been the festival's 30th year, was scheduled to run May 17 through May 25.

“ … the current worldwide pandemic of COVID-19, along with the obvious public health and safety risks, requires urgent steps to contain its spread. We simply cannot move forward with the festival this year,” the letter reads.

Trapani called the decision “very hard.” The festival’s organizing committee had hoped to find a path to move forward with this year’s festival, but that did not happen.

“The HerrinFesta Committee for 30 years have poured their hearts and souls into HerrinFesta. We’re all volunteers,” Trapani said. “It’s been tough.”

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Those who have purchased tickets, Every Day Passes and Early Entry Passes will receive full refunds. No action is necessary on the buyer’s part, as the refund will be issued automatically.

“We are giving total refunds. We contacted all our sponsors,” Trapani said.

He added that they have been in touch with all their artist contacts and making sure they understand the need to cancel the event.

“They’ve all been very, very gracious,” Trapani said.

HerrinFesta Italiana’s first priority, as always, is to protect the safety and health of patrons, performers, volunteers, vendors, staff and the community-at-large.

The committee also thanked their event partners, the City of Herrin and Herrin Civic Center Authority, their sponsors, those who attend and Herrin Chamber of Commerce Executive Board for their continued support.

Trapani does not know how he will spend Memorial Day. For 29 years, he has worked around 100 hours at HerrinFesta over Memorial Day weekend. “It’s going to be unusual,” he said.

HerrinFesta Italiana draws people from 30 states and has welcomed hundreds of thousands of people to Herrin and Southern Illinois over its 29-year history.

“We’re looking forward to celebrating our 30th year in 2021.” Trapani said. “We’ve got to concentrate on something bigger this year.”

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