TIPP CITY — For the first time in 60 years, the Tipp City Mum Festival will not be taking place this year to kick off the fall season.
On Monday, organizers for Tipp City’s annual Mum Festival announced they have canceled this year’s event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the social distancing guidelines would have been difficult to enforce and the health of the community is their “number one priority.”
In a post on social media, organizers wrote, “The Tipp City Mum Festival board and committee have had numerous discussions concerning the 2020 festival. After reaching out to our local health department on what the requirements would be, we have made the heartbreaking decision to cancel the Mum Festival in September. The social distancing guidelines due to COVID-19 would be too great for the committee to enforce, and the health of our community is our number one priority. We will celebrate a great Mum Festival together in 2021!”
In addition to the Mum Festival itself, the cruise-in, the parade, and the 5K Run for the Mums are also canceled this year, according to organizers.
Corey Rismiller, president of the Mum Festival Board, said the board discussed this decision at several meetings, and they ultimately decided it would not be possible with the need to social distance.
“It was a tough decision,” Rismiller said.
Rismiller used the example of the festival’s annual cruise-in, which typically has anywhere from 650 to 850 cars in the downtown.
“It’s packed elbow to elbow,” Rismiller said. He said enforcing social distancing for spectators would not be possible, adding they would have also had to have spectators for the parade distanced apart, as well.
Rismiller explained they began hearing from vendors a month ago, who needed to know if they should prepare supplies for the festival. He said the board wanted to make sure they gave vendors enough notice ahead of time instead of waiting longer to cancel the event.
Rismiller also said, in working with organizers for the Run for the Mums, they would have had to separate runners and have a handful of them go at various intervals, making the 5K run into an all-day event. Right now, the only plans the Mum Festival Board has for this fall is to have Boy Scouts paint mums on sidewalks or driveways.
This year’s Mum Festival was previously scheduled for Sept. 25-27. The first festival held in the late 1950s with the tradition of festival themes being established in 1961. The festival is expected to return next year.
“(We) look forward to seeing everybody in 2021,” Rismiller said.
For more information about the festival and its history, visit tippcitymumfestival.org.