Midnight at Moonville

MOONVILLE, Brown Twp. — Midnight at Moonville, a Halloween themed event at the Moonville Rail Trail in Vinton County, has been canceled following a surge of COVID-19 cases in the county.

“After consulting with the local health department and reviewing what other events in the state are doing, the organizers of the Midnight at Moonville festival have decided to cancel this year’s event in the interest of public safety,” said an organizer in a Facebook post on the Midnight at Moonville page.

As of Monday, Sept. 6, Vinton County currently has 123 active cases of COVID-19, an increase of 36 cases in one week, according to the Vinton County Health Department. The department also reported two additional hospitalizations in the county, bringing the total up to five, and one additional death, bringing the total to 21.

“Because our festival must use public shuttle transportation and has some areas of congestion, it would be difficult to maintain safe and sanitary conditions in a timely and affordable fashion,” the Facebook post said.

“Festival organizers did not want the hassle of dealing with problems associated with requiring proof of vaccination, proof of negative tests, or the use of masks, so a unanimous decision was made to cancel the 2021 event entirely.”

According to the post, vendors will receive a full refund of their vending fee.

“We would like to thank everyone who has helped prepare for the 2021 festival, and we look forward to overcoming the virus and seeing you all in person next year,” the post said.

The festival this year was set to feature storytelling, wagon rides, regional craft vendors, souvenirs, historical presentations, music performances, and even a demonstration of paranormal investigation techniques by a research group.

The event was canceled last year too for similar health concerns, according to previous reporting by The Courier.

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