JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (WTAJ) — Two of Johnstown’s biggest summer events are canceled this year. Visit Johnstown says it’s due to the Covid-10 Pandemic.
This year would have marked 23 years for PolkaFest and Thunder in the Valley. PolkaFest was scheduled for May 29-31 at St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church in Johnstown’s Cambria City neighborhood. Thunder in the Valley was scheduled for June 25-28 in downtown Johnstown. Visit Johnstown produces PolkaFest in partnership with St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church.
Visit Johnstown says both PolkaFest and Thunder will return in 2021.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted our local tourism industry and our organization’s revenue streams, making it impossible for us to proceed with our events this year,” Visit Johnstown’s Executive Director, Lisa Rager, said. The organization is largely funded through Cambria County’s 5% lodging tax, while the events are funded through sponsorships, vendor fees, beer and liquor sales, and official merchandise sales.
Rager said the financial challenges have also impacted Visit Johnstown’s staff, with five of six employees to be temporarily furloughed beginning April 16th.
The decision to cancel the events were partly due to the lost planning time because of the non-essential business closure. Rager says the ongoing uncertainty of a time frame for the return to public gatherings was also a contributing factor.
If you purchased passes for the premium viewing area for the Colt Ford and Hairball performances, you will be fully refunded through Eventbrite. Rager said her team is working to reschedule the feature acts for next year.
“I’d like to thank my team at Visit Johnstown who works so hard to promote our area and coordinate our events. We’re also appreciative of our many partners who work alongside us, and who have supported us for all of these years,” Rager said. “We look forward to seeing everyone again in 2021.”
2021 event dates already set. Polkafet is June 4th-6th, 2021. Thunder in the Valley is June 24th-27th.