Kennesaw officials have canceled the Pigs & Peaches BBQ Festival at the end of August and September’s Salute to America celebration.
As with so many other events in Georgia and all over the country in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic is to blame. The Georgia Department of Public Health reports rising numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases, and just last week, Cobb County School District reversed its decision to allow parents to choose a face-to-face schooling option. It is now starting virtually for everyone on Aug. 17. Atlanta Public Schools, Marietta City, DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett, Clayton and Douglas Counties have all gone to a 100% virtual start to the year, while Paulding and Cherokee Counties are currently maintaining a face-to-face option.
The decision Monday to cancel both was unanimous by the City Council. Doc Eaton said he cast his vote “with a heavy heart.”
Salute to America, a celebration that includes fireworks, live entertainment and food, is traditionally held on July 3, but had already been postponed to Sep. 12 due to coronavirus concerns.
When Parks Director Steve Roberts brought the subject up at last week’s work session, he said he only had about half the vendor interest in Salute to America that he normally sees. City Manager Jeff Drobney also expressed his concern for city staff and volunteers given the rising number of cases in the state.
“Over a two-day event, you’ve got concerts and people sitting under the tents and at the tables and interacting. And if you’ve all been out there, it’s very, very crowded in those aisles. There’s really no opportunity to social distance,” Drobney said.
Rebecca Gaunt earned a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in education from Oglethorpe University. After teaching elementary school for several years, she returned to writing. She lives in Marietta with her husband, son, two cats, and a dog. In her spare time, she loves to read, binge Netflix and travel.