BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — This year’s Village Fest has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers have announced.
Due to attendance and safety concerns and a lack of time to adequately prepare for the festival, the Children’s Advocates Resource Endowment’s board of trustees decided the best course of action would be to take another year off and plan for a comeback in 2022.
The annual event is usually held the first Saturday after Labor Day in September and raises money to award grants to local nonprofit groups that serve children. It draws thousands of attendees and features samples from dozens of breweries, wineries and restaurants.
Since 1999, more than $1.2 million has been granted to local charities according to Jim Luff, president of CARE. The nonprofit charity said it will continue to provide grants of up to $10,000 in 2022 despite canceling the event.
Organizations can still apply for grants through Oct. 1 for the 2021 calendar year. CARE said it will grant a total of $90,000 during 2022 from its endowment fund.
CARE places 60 percent of the annual net proceeds of Village Fest into an endowment account and grants the remaining 40 percent over the following calendar year.
“The endowment was always intended for a rainy day and COVID-19 rained hard upon our community,” Luff said.
While Village Fest has been canceled, the community can still donate to local nonprofits by visiting careforkids.org.