(Posted May 22, 2020)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Organizers of the London Strawberry Festival announced the cancellation of this year’s event, originally scheduled for June 25-27. The popular London Cobra car show that runs in conjunction with the festival also has been cancelled.
In a letter posted on the festival’s website on May 21, organizers state their concerns for the health and safety of festival goers and the community in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. They explain that they waited as long as they could, in order to collect as much information as possible from local and state officials, before making the decision.
“Due to the high degree of uncertainty about what the coming months will hold, we have made the very difficult decision to cancel the 2020 London Strawberry Festival,” they state.
This year would have marked the festival’s 38th year. The event takes place on the streets of downtown London and features rides, games, live entertainment, contests, a parade, and food vendors, each of which offers at least one menu item containing strawberries.
While disappointed that they had to cancel, organizers are looking ahead.
“We’re planning for 2021 already,” said John Stahl, Strawberry Festival committee president.
The 2021 festival will take place June 24-26. For more information, visit www.londonstrawberryfestival.com.
Organizers of the London Cobra Show are looking to the future, too. Put on by the Ohio Cobra Club, the show traditionally takes place the last day of the Strawberry Festival. Cobra owners from many states attend the show, parking their cars for display along North Main Street. Some give rides for donations with proceeds going to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
“The board is upset that we had to cancel, but we have to look out for the safety of our guests,” said Pam Beck, vice president.
Even though the car show is cancelled for this year, the club is still raffling off a Cobra replica, as they do every year. Raffle tickets can be purchased at londoncobrashow.com through 5 p.m. June 26. The winner of the car will be announced on June 27.
To date, the Ohio Cobra Club has donated $1,423,000 to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for research. Each year, the group also makes donations to local first responder agencies as a thank-you to the city of London and Madison County.