The Island Community Development Association has decided to cancel this year’s Island Wooden Bridge Festival due to COVID-19, according to chairman Bobby Johnson. This year, 2020, would have marked the 27th annual festival for the community.

Johnson said with cases spiking back up recently as businesses have gradually begun to open back up, the association thought it would be safest to cancel this year. He said they decided to cancel early because the preparations take a few months to plan.

“It doesn’t look like anything’s going to get any better. It’s spiking again everywhere, so we’re just afraid to have that many people together. We don’t want to be a part of spreading it,” Johnson said.

The Island Wooden Bridge was originally built in 1872 and located off of West Main St. and 1st st. over the railroad, Johnson previously said. The bridge was disassembled in 1985 due to the increasing difficulty in maintaining it.

The association raised money through community donations and fundraisers in addition to grant money to reassemble the bridge and build a park around it in 1993, which marks that first bridge festival, Johnson said.

The Island Wooden Bridge Festival is the association’s biggest annual fundraiser and helps fund other community projects, such as the association’s effort to build handicap accessible walkways in the park, according to Johnson.

He said the association might try to plan a smaller event for the community later in the Fall if able to do so.

“We want to be safe, we don’t want to put anybody in harm,” Johnson said.

Christie Netherton, cnetherton@mcleannews.com, 270-691-7360

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