By Liz Beavers


lbeavers@newstribune.info


Tribune Managing Editor


BURLINGTON - The COVID-19 pandemic, and a fire that destroyed a lot of expensive equipment, has prompted the decision to cancel the 2020 Old Fashioned Apple Harvest Festival.


Cindy Clark, president of the Burlington United Methodist Family Services Auxiliary, announced Thursday that the BUMFS auxiliary made the decision to cancel the festival which annually brings thousands of people to their Burlington campus.


"We have not fully recovered from the fire that destroyed our building and equipment," she said, adding that "social distancing guidelines also played a factor in our decision."


An early-morning fire on April 25 heavily damaged the maintenance garage on the BUMFS campus, and destroyed most of the equipment used for making apple butter and apple cider that was housed inside.


This will be the first time in over 40 years that BUMFS has not held the festival which is a major fundraiser not only for their many programs but also for other local entities such as Burlington Primary, the Burlington Volunteer Fire Department, and numerous civic organizations.


"This would have been the 47th year of this much anticipated event," Clark said. "However, keeping our volunteers, vendors and attendees healthy is our top priority.


"We look forward to seeing everyone in 2021."