Festivals at two Arkansas cities have been cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the McGehee Dermott Times-News, McGehee Mayor Jeff Owyoung announced that concerns for public safety has led to the cancellation of this year’s Owlfest.

Owyoung also served as Chairman of Owlfest and said in a statement that “After extensive consideration of the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are announcing that Owlfest 2020 will be cancelled this year. This was an extremely tough decision but the health and safety of all involved has remained our top priority throughout the decision-making process.”

He went on to say that he hoped that Owlfest will return next year and be “bigger and better than ever.”
“We will survive this pandemic and will once again show out Owl spirit,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.

Also cancelled this year was the 37th Annual Timberfest at Sheridan.

According to the Sheridan Headlight newspaper, the Grant County Chamber of Commerce announced that the event would be cancelled in a Facebook post.

“While we are still as dedicated as ever to Timberfest and our community, the safety of our attendees comes first,” Timberfest Director Marilyn DeMoss said in the post. “We look forward to working with you in the future once this pandemic passes.”