Officials with the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce (SMLRCC) announced today the cancellation of the 32nd Annual Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival scheduled for Sept. 26-27 at Mariners Landing because of concerns with the COVID-19.
The uncertainty surrounding state regulations coupled with the ability to comply with current mandatory requirements for social gatherings dictated this decision.
“We sincerely held out as long as possible before making a final decision but after several months of reviewing any and all possible scenarios, there truly were no sufficient options to ensure both a safe and quality event,” said Christopher Finley, executive director. “It’s heartbreaking because this is our biggest annual event to showcase Smith Mountain Lake and support the local economy but the safety of our attendees, residents, staff, vendors and volunteers remains our top priority.”
Proceeds from this annual event benefit the SMLRCC, which is funded 100 percent on membership dues, sponsorships and events.
As a 501(c)6 organization, SMLRCC has not been eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program funding through the CARES Act legislation.
“Funds from the Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival support our efforts to sustain operations, continue community programs and provide services to our members, promote tourism and manage the Smith Mountain Lake Visitor Center,” Finley said. “These are challenging and uncertain times but, in the end, we chose to put people’s safety over our needs right now.”
Plans are already underway for the festival to return Sept. 25-26, 2021.