WESTERVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) – A popular central Ohio festival will not be happening as originally planned this Friday.
4th Fridays in Uptown Westerville happen from May through October, but this week’s event is canceled after the city declared a public health state of emergency Tuesday.
Earlier Wednesday, Uptown Westerville posted on social media, announcing the cancelation.
In addition to the state of emergency, the group said the cancelation is also coming out of care and concern for the community.
According to Westerville, the state of emergency is in place in large part due to the overwhelming situations at central Ohio hospitals.
Megan Lee Designs, which participates in the event, said 4th Fridays are usually one of the business’ best days, but understand why the call was made.
“It’s not ideal from a small business revenue perspective, but I do believe everybody’s heart is in the right place in essence,” said Erik Weitz, Megan Lee Designs’ vice-president. “It’s like the greater good, we’re all trying to come together to make sure we can get back to business as usual, or the new business as usual.”
To be 19 months into the pandemic and still have events canceled, people are disappointed, but also understand why the decision was made.
“I think it’s disappointing it has to be canceled, but I also want to do whatever is going to be the safest for the community,” said Westerville resident Dawn Puster.
Weitz said he saw the message from the city about area hospitals being overwhelmed and said he understands why 4th Friday will not be happening this week.
“This event is sponsored by Mount Carmel Health, so it would be probably unwise and a little contradictory, I think, if they were to have it, so I completely understand why it’s canceled,” he said.
While other events in the city have been canceled for the next six weeks, there is no word on next month’s 4th Friday event.
Unless the situation at central Ohio hospitals improves, the city said it will reevaluate the public health state of emergency on Nov. 2.