Two more Hickory-area festivals have been canceled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The annual Apple Festival in Taylorsville was originally scheduled for Oct. 16 but will not move forward as a result of surging cases in Alexander and neighboring counties, organizers announced in a Facebook post early Wednesday morning.
The organizers cited low vaccinations rates and high levels of hospitalization as reasons for the decision, adding that they consulted with county officials while considering the course of action.
On Wednesday, Catawba Valley Medical Center reported 80 patients hospitalized for COVID-19, including 16 patients in the intensive care unit and 11 on ventilators.
Of those hospitalized, roughly 84% are unvaccinated. The unvaccinated also account for more than 90% of those who are in the ICU or have been intubated.
The Hiddenite Arts and Heritage Center has canceled its annual celebration of the arts scheduled for later this month because of pandemic concerns. A performance that was set to take place as part of those festivities has been postponed until next spring.
The Alexander County events are among a number of local fall festivals that have been called off because of the pandemic.
Last month, the Hickory Downtown Development Association announced that Hickory’s Oktoberfest will not be held this year.
Kevin Griffin is the City of Hickory reporter at the Hickory Daily Record.