DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -The National Peanut Festival will be canceled, with a formal announcement coming soon. That has been confirmed by several people with knowledge of the situation.
The decision came at an emergency meeting of the Festival Board of Directors on Thursday night. Members contacted by WTVY said they had been ordered not to discuss the matter publicly.
About two hours before that meeting, Reithoffer Shows, Inc., the festival’s midway provider, posted on its Facebook page, “Its 2020 and fun has been canceled. But we know the comeback is always stronger than the setback. Keep the faith.”
At least 10 of Reithoffer's 13 events listed on its website won't happen this year.
Coronvirus numbers have not consistently trended downward in Alabama, even with health protocols. Social distancing would have been a major concern had the festival gone on. Other factors also led to the decision, per sources. Some of those could be disclosed in the cancellation announcement.
This will be the first time the National Peanut Festival has been called off since World War II.