CEDARBURG — In the interest of protecting attendees from COVID-19, the organizers of Cedarburg's Strawberry Festival 2021 have decided to cancel the event this year.
It was originally scheduled for June 26-27. The Festivals of Cedarburg Board met Wednesday evening and came to the decision.
The board said in a statement Thursday that Festivals staff reconvened optimistically in January to start planning for the summer festival season. That includes Strawberry Festival in June, Wine & Harvest Festival in September and Oktoberfest in October.
"With vaccines becoming more and more prevalent, Strawberry Festival seemed like it might be the perfect opportunity for that - a small-town early summer outdoor festival," said President Jim Pape in the statement. "But we need to make sure we're doing it safely, and current statistics and restrictions just make it too difficult to predict what conditions will be like in June."
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services' COVID-19 dashboard puts Ozaukee County, where Cedarburg is, as a county leading the state in vaccinating its residents. About 49 percent of residents have received one dose, and about 34 percent are fully vaccinated. Nearby Washington County, which shares a health department with Ozaukee County, reports 37 percent of residents partially vaccinated and 26 percent fully vaccinated.
It is expected people from other counties would have also attended the Strawberry Festival, adding to concerns over spreading the virus.
Cedarburg's Wine & Harvest Festival is scheduled for September 18-19, 2021, and will be followed a few weeks later by Oktoberfest, scheduled for October 2-3.