Rhododendron Festival and Other City of Beckley Events Cancelled

Beckley Events has announced that several May and June 2020 events have been canceled due to health safety concerns associated with the COVID-19 virus. The guidelines to reopen the State of West Virginia suggest that no more than 25 people are allowed at gatherings or events.  The City’s events that are being canceled include the Rhododendron Festival, the Coffee and Tea Celebration, Sweet Treats, RhodoBoogie Car Show, and Fridays in the Park for May and June.  Founder’s Day at Wildwood is being postponed until August.

According to the Beckley Events director Jill Moorefield, “We are disappointed and sad to cancel these spring events. The events would have been wonderful.  We appreciate the vendors and musicians who had planned to participate.”  Although there will not be an official Rhododendron Festival, residents can still plan visits to Grandview and other local parks to view rhododendrons in bloom during the month of May – please follow social distancing guidelines.

Beckley Events Facebook page has been offering daily posts highlighting the city’s Monuments, Markers, and Murals/Public Art Tour over the past month.  The entire tour list will be added to the City’s website soon.  Moorefield hopes to offer spotlight posts on their page about the vendors and musicians who had planned to participate during the canceled events.

Moorefield added, “If the city administration deems it is safe, we hope to be able to have a few summer events.  The Great Race is still scheduled for late June, and it is expected to visit Beckley on June 26.  Other summer events offered by the committee may include a condensed Fridays in the Park series, the annual downtown Cruise-in Car Show on July 25, and the Appalachian Block Party on August 29.  Smooth Impressions Car Club Show is planning a show downtown on September 5.  Plus, the annual Kids Classic Festival is celebrated in September.  However, please note that all of the events are pending until it is determined to be safe to host events.”

Some good news to share is that a new event started this past Saturday with Beckley Events teaming up with the Shade Tree Car Club and Smooth Impressions Car Club to offer a Neighborhood Car Cruise in Bowling Addition. The first cruise was a success with 80 vehicles participating.  Car owners stayed in their vehicles and enjoyed showing off their rides as the residents enjoyed watching from their porches, so social distancing was followed.  Moorefield said, “It was so good to see the smiles of the car owners and the residents, and many people thanked us for offering the cruises.” Upcoming neighborhood cruises may include one around the McLean Addition to Harper Road on May 9, and then, a cruise from Ghent through Shady Springs, Daniels, by Little Beaver State Park, The Oaks, and Grandview to see rhododendrons in bloom on May 16, weather-permitting.  Follow the Beckley Events Facebook page for more details or call 304-256-1776.

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