Since 1992 this community has looked forward to the Adams County Heritage Festival, our only multicultural festival. We would spend the third Sunday in September listening to music, sharing food, visiting exhibits, and taking part in children’s activities, all with the aim, as our mission statement says, of “sharing and appreciating the cultures of Adams County . . . a celebration of unity in our community.”

Who could deny that in these times we need activities that pursue that mission? Yet these are also the times of COVID-19. It has become clear to the organizing committee that we cannot hold a large or even a smaller outdoor festival this year. The risk of contagion is too great, and we would probably encounter limits on crowd size that we couldn’t enforce. Even in the unlikely event that by September everything will be fine, we can’t know it far enough in advance to make plans.

Bill Collinge is the chair of the Adams County Heritage Festival planning committee and the Secretary of the Interfaith Center for Peace and Justice.

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