Cancellation of fairs and festivals has wider reaching impact

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ST. ALBANS, WV (WOWK) It has been a different kind of summer with many popular fairs and festivals called off because of COVID-19.

“This summer has been a bit unusual,” said Ashley Alford-Glance, President of the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce. “Events and things for families to do, a lot of those have been canceled.”

In Putnam County, the Chamber of Commerce is working to help businesses do the best they can in challenging times. But the loss of events like the Putnam County Fair and the closure of the Wave Pool for the season are being felt.

“You’ll notice that the hotel parking lots aren’t as full,” Alford-Glance said. “But in the last couple of weeks they have started to fill back up and our hotels are seeing people coming back to the area.”

She said the return of baseball activities at Valley Park has helped some.

In Cabell County, Milton’s annual Pumpkin Festival is gone.

In Kanawha County St. Albans’ Yak Fest and the Tour de Coal had to be called off. St. Albans Mayor Scott James said last year both events helped area businesses meet unprecedented milestones.

“We had five businesses in the Olde Main District that had record weekends and we missed that,” James said. “That hurt when I had to cancel that. I tried not to. But we ended up having to. It did hurt not on regular business but that extra boost that we get during these festivals.”

While those events can’t be replaced cities and counties are doing the best they can to promote other outdoor opportunities.

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