FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WOAY) – After a week of uncertainty, the Bridge Day Commission has voted unanimously to cancel Bridge Day.
Two weeks ago, the commission met and voted 4-2 to host Bridge Day, after last year’s festival was cancelled due to COVID-19.
The meeting after that on Sept. 22 ended with the cancellation of base jumping, which is the festival’s main event. Following that announcement, the bridge day Commission decided to schedule a second vote on whether or not bridge day will happen.
This vote ended up being unanimous, which means bridge day is officially cancelled for 2021. Four commission members switched their votes from their previous decision two weeks ago.
Becky Sullivan is the President of the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce and the chair of the Bridge Day Commission. She originally voted no on the first vote to host bridge day. She says the new vote to cancel comes after a greater deal of concern with COVID-19.
“I was one of the two that voted to cancel because I have been seeing what’s happening in our community,” Sullivan said. “I think they also received the feedback that I received, based on how people are feeling and the concern for the lack of healthcare available.”
The main reasons for concern that led to commission members changing their votes were the cancellation of base jumping, and the issue with COVID-19.
Fayette County Health Department Administrator Teri Harlan attended this week’s meeting, during which she said the department is not sure if Fayette County has reached its peak yet for this wave of COVID-19. But she did remind the commission that West Virginia set a new record high for ICU beds in use across the state. As well, she says the county is not in a good place right now regarding the strain on local medical resources.
The Bridge Day Commission also expressed concern on the financial hardship the area will see due to the cancellation.
“There will be financial hardship for the vendors, for everybody who has planned to come here that weekend. But hopefully they can still make plans and come here for other things.”
From now on the Bridge Commission will continue to meet once a month, as opposed to their recent weekly meetings.