CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – A Capitol City summertime staple has become the latest victim of the coronavirus pandemic. The “Live on the Levee” summertime concert series brings in a boost to downtown Charleston businesses and local vendors every year.
Live on the Levee was scheduled to begin in just a few short weeks. The live music and food bring in a lot of money to the city but it also brings a lot of people together … not a good practice these days.
“Do you know what is a really difficult decision? It’s a difficult decision to take someone off of a respirator. That’s a difficult decision,” Charleston Mayor Amy Goodwin tells 13 News.
Goodwin says the decision to cancel the summertime event was difficult but necessary.
She says a summer-long event packing people onto Haddad Riverfront Park steps week after week simply is not safe right now.
“My number one priority is to keep you safe. That’s it,” she adds. “It’s safe, fun, lucrative, money-making — that all comes second, third and fourth because if I can’t keep you safe, then we don’t have economic viability in the City of Charleston.”
Tim Brady with the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates millions of dollars in lost revenue for the city business community so far, and while they can’t promote travel to Charleston, they are taking a different approach to counter those dollars lost.
“One of the things we have really leaned into is making sure our local citizens and local residents support our local tourism infrastructure,” Brady says.
Goodwin has plans of her own for safe downtown fun, including a “socially distant” Fourth of July celebration.
“Think of yesteryear and how we use to go watch movies … this is what people want at the end of the day, they just want to feel connected I don’t have to be standing close to you to feel connected so we are working on ways to make that happen,” Goodwin adds.