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Sunday September 27th, 2020 12:54PM

Event organizers cancel annual Gold Rush Days Festival in Dahlonega

By Lauren Hunter Multimedia Journalist
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Event organizers have decided to cancel the annual Gold Rush Days Festival in Dahlonega due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

A social media post added this morning by the Gold Rush Days Festival, Inc., the non-profit responsible for organizing the event, said that event organizers cancelled the festival primarily due to concerns over social distancing.

The post reads, “If you have been to Gold Rush, you know how large the crowds can get at times. We planned various scenarios for addressing the issue and each one fell short of providing the safety required while maintaining the festival experience as we know it.”

The post encourages visitors to instead support local businesses, vendors and non-profits that will lose revenue as a result of the cancellation.

“If you are able, please visit the local downtown businesses, eat at one of our fantastic restaurants, grab a dessert at one of our sweet treat stores, reach out to a non-profit group and offer to make a monetary donation or a donation of volunteer hours,” the post states.

Each year Gold Rush Days Festival, Inc. raises funds for philanthropic efforts through the sale of booth spaces, parade entries, t-shirt sales and direct donations for the festival.

According to the post, last year’s festival raised more than $53,000 for college scholarships, direct family aid, donations to other non-profits, random acts of kindness and for the organizing non-profit’s Empty Stocking Christmas program.

Event organizers said that they used information from officials with the Northeast Georgia Health System, local schools, government departments and even other festivals to make their decision.

“We have been planning to have the event right up until this last moment and despite our efforts, the time has come to bow out,” the post said. “Rest assured we will start planning the 2021 festival right away.”

The Gold Rush Days Festival is an annual two-day event that takes place in the City of Dahlonega each fall. The festival has been held every year since 1968.

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