Karen Logan, Executive Director of the Logan County Chamber of Commerce, gave a brief report about the county’s annual Tobacco & Heritage Festival at Tuesday’s fiscal court meeting.

“It is unfortunate that this year’s festival has been canceled due to COVID-19,” said Logan explaining how the chamber board came to make that decision.

“The chamber board had to be the one to make the decision on this year’s festival since we are the ones who orchestrate it. Through the year, none of us knew the virus would last this long. We watched it and as the numbers grew, it was apparent that we had to really look hard at what the governor was putting out,” Logan said. “We met with the health department because we needed guidance interpreting the ‘healthy at work,’ which are guidelines we were supposed to go by in relation to festivals and carnivals. If we were to have the festival.”

Logan painted a picture for the court of how the festival would have looked like if it were to be held during this pandemic.

“We really had no choice,” said Logan explaining the changes.

“The chamber would have had to have had fencing and barriers completely all the way around the area so it would know how much square footage there was inside the area so there could be 50% capacity. Then, the organizers would have to collect names, addresses, and phone numbers of everyone in attendance. Organizers would have to enforce social distancing within six feet and that includes booths, food lines, etc. Everyone in attendance would have to have their temperatures taken,” Logan said adding, “We felt like this was the best for our community. We did not want one sickness or one death linked back to Logan County in having this event.”

Instead of having the festival, Logan said the chamber would be hosting a virtual walking tour with Evelyn Richardson as well as compiling a video honoring the tradition and history of the festival.

“We are asking the community to send us photographs or video clips of past festivals,” said Logan.

Although the chamber has canceled the festival, a logo was created by the body reflective of the pandemic.

“It is called ‘Logan United — Stronger Together.’ We wanted to focus that even though we are in the middle of this, we are collectively stronger together and united through it,” said Logan.