A young ChocolateFest visitor digs for treasures buried in chunks of chocolate at a prior ChocolateFest. The 2020 festival scheduled for the Memorial Day weekend has been canceled. (Photo by Ed Nadolski)

Memorial Day weekend festival canceled for 2020

ChocolateFest, Burlington’s marquee festival, has been added to the mounting list of events postponed or canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

On Wednesday, ChocolateFest President Bil Scherrer announced the 34th annual festival – slated for Memorial Day weekend – had been “postponed” on a decision by the organization’s Executive Committee.

Scherrer did not use the word “canceled” in the news release, however, he left the impression that a festival would not return until 2021.

“On a brighter note, he wrote, “we do fully intend to have a community festival in 2021 – occurring over the Memorial Day weekend.”

Scherrer said the committee’s priority was keeping the public safe.

“Our committee members have been working diligently to produce another great event, but given the recent closures and gathering limits, we have been forced to this unfortunate decision,” he wrote.

Scherrer thanked the festival’s sponsors “and those who went beyond the call of duty in assisting us during these challenging times.”

ChocolateFest is a major engine for funding various community non-profit groups that provide the staffing to pull off the four-day event. The loss of that opportunity is another blow to the local economy that – along with much of the world’s economy – is reeling from societal shutdown in an attempt to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

In recent years, the festival has attracted an estimated annual attendance of about 35,000.

For in-depth coverage of the ChocolateFest cancelation, see the April 2 edition of the Burlington Standard Press and check back here for updates.