One of the biggest fall events — Ohio Sauerkraut Festival — canceled

Sauerkraut pizza is one of the local delicacies peddled at the Ohio Sauerkraut Festival in Waynesville. STAFF/NICK DAGGY
Sauerkraut pizza is one of the local delicacies peddled at the Ohio Sauerkraut Festival in Waynesville. STAFF/NICK DAGGY

Credit: STAFF/NICK DAGGY

Credit: STAFF/NICK DAGGY

The Ohio Sauerkraut Festival has been canceled.

On Thursday, the festival committee announced the decision to cancel the 51st annual event, one of Warren County’s biggest tourist draws and the key source of income for local nonprofits and small businesses.

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The festival was canceled “due to health concerns for the coronavirus pandemic. The health concerns for the public were of top priority and it has become difficult to produce a safe and successful show for the community, guests, merchants, vendors, and nonprofit food groups,” according to Thursday’s announcement.

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“We understand that this will stir many emotions, and we want all of our participants to understand this decision was truly one made with heavy hearts, but with the best intentions in mind for all involved.”

The committee will refocus on next year’s festival.

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“These are challenged times for all of us, but with the support of our community, guests, merchants, and partners, we are confident in our strong comeback in 2021,” the announcement concluded.

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The 50th annual Ohio Sauerkraut Festival took place in 2019 in downtown Waynesville over the weekend on Saturday, Oct. 12 and Sunday, Oct. 13. The festival featured 60 sauerkraut-related food items with 460 craftspeople from 25 states. It attracts more than 350,000 people annually.