BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) —Village Fest has been canceled this year due to challenges posed by COVID-19, organizers announced today.
The annual event, typically held in September, draws more than 5,000 attendees each year to sample product from more than 60 breweries, 25 wineries and 30 local restaurants. The event also features live entertainment with fifteen bands performing.
Village Fest is a major fundraiser for Children’s Advocates Resource Endowment, a local nonprofit that raises money to award grants to other nonprofit groups specializing in serving children.
CARE recently awarded more than $37,000 to local charities including $10,000 each to League of Dreams and the Boys & Girls Club. In addition, $4,400 was awarded to Thumbs Up – Cancer Down and Court Appointed Special Advocates of Kern County was given $2,000.
In a six-page report to the CARE Board of Trustees, President Jim Luff outlined mounting pressures including an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Kern County, economic pressures of sponsorship and the challenges of bringing thousands of people together in a socially distanced environment.
Upon reading the report, the board voted unanimously to cancel the event, according to Luff, who said the cancellation is a huge blow to the community.
The Kern County Museum, which hosts the event, will lose approximately $40,000 in facility rental fees and revenue sharing, according to Executive Director Mike McCoy.