The Star-Herald

Blossom Fest committee cancels 2020 events due to COVID-19 outbreak

This story has been updated.

FORT FAIRFIELD, Maine — Maine Potato Blossom Festival director Cheryl Boulier confirmed on Wednesday that alternative festival events have been canceled for the summer due to a recent COVID-19 outbreak in Aroostook County.

On June 18, the festival committee had announced on their Facebook page plans to hold small-scale events on Saturday, July 18, as a way to replace the traditional nine-day Maine Potato Blossom Festival, which was canceled in late April due to the developing pandemic in Maine.

But now, as a result of the recent outbreak in Houlton, Boulier said the committee has chosen not to risk potential COVID-19 exposure in Fort Fairfield, especially given the false alarm within the fire and police departments last weekend.

“We are hoping to be able to plan for our 2021 festival by early next year,” Boulier said.

She also noted that the committee is not planning to host any online versions of festival events. But there are plans to turn the potato barrel display near the Fort Fairfield blockhouse into a “birthday cake” in July to celebrate Maine’s bicentennial. 

“This [the cake display] is courtesy of two local ladies, Janet Giberson and Pat Troike, who are very talented,” Boulier said. “The cake will be lit up at night and will be a reminder of our wonderful state of that we are so blessed to live in as well as our hometown of Fort Fairfield.”

The Potato Blossom Festival, which would have been held July 11-19 this year, is considered one of the most popular summer events in Aroostook County, with an average of 10,000 to 20,000 people attending each year. Events such as the annual parade, high school class reunions, historical tours and agricultural-themed activities often attract visitors from across the U.S. and Canada.

This is the first time in its more than 70-year history that the Potato Blossom Festival has been canceled.

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