I remember getting to downtown Matthews early on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend with family friends to watch the parade. As a child running to grab the candy from floats is one of the highlights of your year. As I got older I loved riding the rides with friends, making sand art at the craft booths, and eventually shopping and enjoying the fair food (cough cough Kettle corn). But this year kids and their families won’t be making those memories as Matthews Alive is canceled this year, for the second year in a row.
The festival announced on August 9th that the beloved festival won’t be taking place due to the surge in COVID cases. The board of directors was unanimous in their decision as was presenting sponsor Novant Health. Matthews Alive, like most other events, was canceled last year as well.
“By our estimates, we were expecting our usual 150,000 attendees, if not more people. Given the percentage of unvaccinated people in our local communities as well as the infectious Delta variant, we had many concerns about being able to meet our standards for public safety”, said Chairwoman Julie Bee.
“The Town of Matthews supports the decision to cancel this year’s festival,” said Matthews Mayor John Higdon. “It’s disappointing that the number of Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations are rising in our area- preventing us from moving forward with special events like Matthews Alive. However, the health and safety of festival attendees will always come first. Matthews Alive is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year. I look forward to the festival returning next year.”
The annual festival with its parade, rides, food stands and craft booths raises money for the local non-profit groups and to date has raised over $1.6 million for the greater Matthews community.
Read the full statement here