NEDERLAND — COVID-19 claimed another victim Monday night, with the Nederland City Council announcing the final update for the 2021 Nederland Heritage Festival.
“I’ve been kind of dreading making this statement in regards to the Nederland Heritage Festival,” Mayor Don Albanese said Monday evening. “The city has talked to vendors, talked to food booths, talked to department heads at the Nederland Heritage Festival and with great regrets we’re going to go ahead and cancel the 2021 Nederland Heritage Festival.”
Albanese followed by reading a statement attributed to the Nederland Heritage Festival Board of Directors, saying the organization prides itself on providing family, friendly and safe events for Nederland and surrounding communities.
“For 47 years we have successfully accomplished this mission,” the statement continued. “In light of the current public health crisis and taking into consideration the safety of our community, we have made the difficult decision not to proceed with hosting the annual festival during spring break. This decision was not made lightly and included detailed discussion with Heritage Festival organizations, the city of Nederland and local health authorities.”
City leaders said some events would still take place, including:
- Nederland Heritage Festival Pageant Feb. 5 and 6,
- Nederland Heritage Festival golf tournament March 6 , and
- Nederland Heritage Festival Fun Run March 7.
Albanese said he knows a lot of people enjoy coming to Nederland for the camaraderie, food booths and fun associated with the festival.
He said those with standing food booth locations would not lose their spots for 2022.
“It was a tough decision to make,” Albanese said. “We thought maybe the vaccine would be taking effect by then but according to our numbers we get back everyday, we have not broken the curve yet. It would be too much to gamble to have it right now.”
City Manager Chris Duque said the festival is a huge deal for the city.
“I know we are all disappointed, but hopefully in 2022 we can come back bigger and better and enjoying that week of fun,” he said.
Councilman Emmett Hollier said he would like to thank the Nederland Heritage Festival because he knows the decision to cancel was a hard one.
“I know we are just as disappointed as they are,” Hollier said. “It was a hard decision for them and I really thank them for looking ahead at everything and the possibility and also considering our community and the safety of our residents.”