FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — The Three Rivers Festival Board of Directors announced Thursday they are canceling this year's Three Rivers Festival due to the coronavirus.
"While it breaks our hearts that we have come to this conclusion, we know we have made the right choice based on current circumstances," Officials said in a statement. "Our mission has always been community-focused, and this year our best move is the one that promotes a safe environment in Fort Wayne."
Indiana Back On Track plan infographic by the City of Fort Wayne
The Three Rivers Festival is the second-largest in Indiana, bringing in roughly half a million visitors each summer, according to officials.
After working with the Allen County Board of Health and the City of Fort Wayne, TRF officials determined there are too many challenges to overcome with the large crowds that are attracted because of the coronavirus.
"In addition to the safety of our guests, our festival relies on volunteers," Officials said. "Many of these volunteers are among the population most at risk."
The festival would start just days after the move to Stage 5 of Indiana’s Back on Track plan.
TRF officials say delaying the festival to another time "is not an option."
Any interruption in the Back on Track timeline would jeopardize not only the 2020 Three Rivers Festival, but the financial hardship would jeopardize future festivals as well.
The Three Rivers Festival Board of Directors say they hope to be around another 52 years, and that "postponing ensures that opportunity."
TRF officials say they will announce these details in the coming weeks.
The 52nd Three Rivers Festival is now expected to start in 2021.