International Festival of Raleigh canceled over virus concerns
Posted March 4, 2020 11:46 a.m. EST
Updated March 11, 2020 12:29 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — The popular International Festival of Raleigh postponed its upcoming weekend of events on Wednesday due to the concern of virus spread.
The festival, first slated for March 6-8 at the N.C. State Fairgrounds, would be in its 34th year. The Facebook event was canceled, and a post on the event's page said the festivities would be postponed for February 2021.
"We are VERY sad to share this news, but we need to postpone the International Festival this year," the post read. "Our highest priority is the safety of our attendees and participants. Due to the possible risk of virus spread, we have made the hard decision to postpone this year's event."
The cancellation comes after Tuesday's news that a Wake County man is infected with coronavirus and in quarantine at his home.
On Wednesday, Mandy Cohen, the Secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, said she expects more cases in North Carolina and Wake County. She also urged citizens to prepare but not panic.
"Just to put this in perspective," she said, "We did have 15 deaths from flu just last week in N.C. Viruses are deadly and we want to protect ourselves."
WRAL's Julian Grace reached out to The International Festival board on Wednesday for further comment but did not hear back.
“I haven’t had a chance to talk to any of the other vendors but I’m sure those counting on this income are thinking OK, what are we going to do now," said De-Vin Atkinson of Mmm Hmm Good Catering, which was scheduled to be at the weekend event.