Winterfest canceled

File Photo: Residents take advantage of the Winterfest Ice Rink during last year’s festival.

PORTSMOUTH — As the Coronavirus pandemic has been unfolding, the Friends of Portsmouth Winterfest organizers have been working diligently to host this year’s event. Despite their best efforts, it has become clear that organizers will be required to cancel Winterfest, initially scheduled for Nov. 28-Dec. 24, 2020.

“While we tried to remain optimistic that there was a path forward, we also deeply value the health and safety of our festival attendees, volunteers, vendors, performers, and the Portsmouth area with all its business and employees,” organizers said in a press release Friday.

“The Friends of Portsmouth board of directors and Winterfest Committee, along with the City of Portsmouth health department, have jointly determined that with the current State of Ohio mandates, we cannot go forward with holding our monthlong festivities. This has been a tough decision, and we are very appreciative of the kind words and support that we have received from so many,” the release stated.

Friends of Portsmouth shared they recognized the impact of canceling the event on the community and are actively working on ways to bring the ice rink at a later date when it has been deemed safe.

“Winterfest is made possible through the generosity and the support of our amazing sponsors. We look forward to the day we can whisk our community away to a winter wonderland again,” organizers stated. “We would like to thank the community and our sponsors for their continued support- we certainly cannot do this without you.”