Freedom Festival to go on, despite the pandemic

West Virginia

LOGAN, WV (WOWK) – The 21st annual Freedom Festival will hold its grand opening in the city of Logan tomorrow night.

But this year will be a little different … and it’s bringing some controversy.

Those arguing against this contested issue say it will attract out of towners in the midst of a pandemic. Those for it argue they are going to take extra safety precautions, so they’re not worried.

“There has been some push back,” Logan Mayor Serafino Nolletti said. “More this year, because of the virus.”

And some are voicing their concerns to city officials and on social media.

Comments like — “How are you supposed to eat a funnel cake with a mask on? Probably not the best idea … ” and “It’s all about money.”

“We have a meeting with all of our staff to go over the new protocols,” Shane Turner, the owner of the carnival, said.

Turner says his staff will make sure everyone follows the guidelines put out by the governor’s office.

“There are hand sanitizing stations on every ride,” he said “We temperature check all of our employees every day. They’ve all been tested. There are social distancing lines on the ground and directional lines for which way everything is supposed to go.”

Rides will also be held at 50% capacity … Unless there’s already 6 feet of distance between riders.

“The state took our safety regulations and our plan and made that the standard for all the fairs and festivals in the state so we’re being absolutely as safe as we can be. You’re safer here than at Walmart,” Turner said.

And even though some residence are against holding this year’s carnival, city officials are welcoming it with open arms.

“There are always gonna be people who try to bring you down,” Nolletti said. “I’ve been around this town all my life. I love this town and the people in it. And I’m sorry if we’ve offended anybody, but we’re opening up.”

The carnival will open at 6 p.m., tomorrow evening and will be honoring the 2020 Logan High School graduating class.

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