After reviewing the state guidelines for hosting outdoor events, Hickory Downtown Development Association, and the Oktoberfest Committee, have made the difficult decision to cancel Hickory’s Oktoberfest this year, previously scheduled for October 8th, 9th, and 10th.
In a news release, they told: "This decision has been made out of an abundance of caution and concern for the safety of our community due to the continued spread of the highly contagious delta variant of COVID-19, and rising area hospitalizations. We had hoped to be in a different place by this Fall season but, with the low vaccination rate in Catawba County, we cannot risk hosting a super-spreader event that could put our health providers and hospitals in a more difficult situation.
"The health and wellbeing of our festival partners, vendors, musicians, volunteers, and attendees, remains the highest priority for this annual celebration of our community's German heritage. The HDDA thanks each of you for your support and understanding during these unusual and difficult times."
Hickory Downtown Development Association (HDDA) is a private, non-profit 501 (c) 6 organization with a thirteen member volunteer Board of Directors. Funding for the organization is comprised of membership dues, grants, donations, and event sponsorships.
The Lincoln County Apple Festival is still planned for Saturday October 16th. "Unless the state, county commissioners, city council or health department tell us otherwise, we are going ahead as planned," Apple Festival Director told us. "If people are concerned about the virus and feel safer not attending, we certainly understand. We'll have hand sanitizer and masks available at our information booth, and many of our vendors will as well. Those who will feel safer can wear masks, but they won't be required. We're making final preparations and looking forward to a great festival!"