COVID cancels Apple Harvest for second year

Liz Beavers
Mineral Daily News-Tribune
A volunteer helps stir a kettle of apple butter at the 2019 Burlington Apple Harvest Festival. For the second consecutive year, the festival has been cancelled due to COVID concerns.

BURLINGTON - For the second consecutive year the Burlington Apple Harvest Festival has been cancelled due to COVID.

Burlington United Methodist Family Services CEO Chris Mullett has confirmed that the BUMFS Auxiliary met Thursday evening and decided cancellation would be “the most responsible thing to do” because of the recent uptick in COVID cases in Mineral County and throughout the area.

He called the decision to cancel the annual event “heart breaking,” especially as the auxiliary was looking forward to bouncing back from not having a 2020 festival, as well as rebuilding after the April 25, 2020 fire that destroyed the apple butter making facilities on the BUMFS campus.

Prior to the decision to cancel, the auxiliary’s concern was with their ability to bring in enough volunteers to help with the apple butter making process because “people were already on edge,” but Mullett said, “Regardless of how many volunteers we might have had, we would not have gone forward with the festival.”

The Apple Harvest is not only a significant fund raiser for the BUMFS Auxiliary, but also for many other organizations, such as Burlington Primary School, the Burlington Volunteer Fire Department, the Burlington Library, and numerous civic clubs, as well as all those vendors and crafters who set up tables in and around the festival grounds.

“Typically, we make $45,000-$50,000 from the festival,” Mullett said, adding that, after last year’s festival was cancelled, the auxiliary did a mailing to ask for donations and “people were very generous.

“The auxiliary helps with special projects and things outside our regular budget,” he explains. “People have come to count on the Apple Harvest happening. It’s really a big loss for the community.”

Liz Beavers is a veteran writer and managing editor of the Mineral Daily News Tribune. You can check out her bio and more of her work at https://www.newstribune.info/staff/6477370002/liz-beavers/. To reach out to her with a story idea, email lbeavers@newstribune.info.