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Washington Summer Festival to return in August

Last year, for the first time in the event’s 36-year history, the Washington Summer Festival was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year, it’s slated to return to the Washington waterfront.

The festival, which is the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce’s largest annual fundraising event, is scheduled for Aug. 27-28 along the waterfront.

The festival is free to attend, and it includes rides, fireworks, live music and other free activities for the community. A variety of vendors will be set up around the waterfront. The Summer Festival hours will be 5-10 p.m. on Aug. 27 and 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Aug. 28.

Revenues from the Summer Festival account for roughly half of the WBCCC’s yearly budget.

“It’s obviously got a lot of history,” WBCCC director Catherine Glover said. “It’s a time for everyone in the community to come together. We try to provide something for everyone.”

“We’re lucky to have tons of support from our local businesses to put it on,” she added.

The Summer Festival is normally held every June. Due to uncertainties about the future of COVID-19 mandates, the WBCCC pushed the event to August. Glover said it will effectively serve as the celebration of the start of the new school year.

Gov. Roy Cooper has lifted all of the state’s social distancing and capacity mandates, and most of its mask requirements. Glover said hand-sanitizing stations will be provided at the festival.

“We’re going to ask everyone to practice being safe,” Glover said.

Information for potential vendors and sponsors can be found online at https://wbcchamber.com/our-events/summer-festival.