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LEXINGTON, N.C. — The annual Barbecue Festival in Lexington has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The festival released the following information on Friday:

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the October 24, 2020 Barbecue Festival in Lexington, NC, as we have come to know it, will not be held. With the potential of hosting 100,000-plus attendees, the festival would far exceed the current NC Governor’s Executive Order 151 that prohibits large gatherings.

Public safety is our ultimate priority, and after communication with healthcare officials, law enforcement entities, city officials, and others, there is no safe way to plan for and manage what has become the region’s largest one-day street festival in Historic Uptown Lexington, NC this year. Given the unprecedented global health crisis, we are confident that we are making the best decision to protect the public and all involved. In 36 years, we have never been in this situation, and we hope to learn and grow from this unfortunate circumstance.

We do plan to host smaller events and virtual elements, so that we can continue to shine a spotlight on our amazing community while showcasing our World-Famous Barbecue Heritage. On behalf of our sponsors, partners, volunteers and the hundreds of people that make the festival happen each year…we want to say THANK YOU for your understanding and stay tuned for more details!

Please save the 2021 festival date…we fully intend to host the most exciting Barbecue Festival ever on Saturday, October 23, 2021! #BBQFest #LexingtonNC #WorldsBestQ