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Bruised but not broken: Wyoming Peach Festival canceled, ready for big celebration in 2021

State officials did not approve the town’s plan this year.

Emily Lytle
Dover Post
A boy takes a closer look at the star of the show during the 2019 Wyoming Peach Festival.

In a small town southwest of Dover, the first Saturday of August typically means it’s time for the Wyoming Peach Festival. From parades to prizes and pie, the tradition often draws big crowds, but this year the organizing committee had to cancel.

After submitting a plan to the governor’s office in June, the state rejected the organizers’ proposal July 9. Organizers announced the cancellation on their Facebook page this week.

Co-chair Donna Mason said the volunteer members took the news in stride. “We just kind of went, ‘OK, we just go from here,’” she said. “Right now we’re just picking up the pieces by giving everyone’s refunds back to them.”

She said this year was meant to mark the 30th anniversary. “We were hoping to have it done real big,” she said. “I guess we’ll just celebrate our 30th anniversary next time.”

While the governor’s office did not give a reason for the rejection, Mason said it was likely the festival’s inability to create one-way streets and ensure distancing between people in large crowds. 

A crowded scene during the 2019 Wyoming Peach Festival.

“It was so stressful trying to figure out how we could possibly have the festival,” she said. While it would have been feasible to have the required space between vendors, she admitted that social distancing at restrooms and throughout the area would have been a challenge. “It’s very crowded, and in some cases you’re like shoulder-and-shoulder going up and down the streets,” she said. 

The festival is run entirely by volunteers. The committee consists of five to six people, and Mason said she hopes for 15 to 20 volunteers during the day, but they’re often hard to find. 

She welcomed any volunteers for next year and invited everyone to mark their calendars for the Wyoming Peach Festival Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021.