south haven

On the heels of South Haven city officials’ decision earlier this month to cancel the popular Fourth of July fireworks display, organizers of another popular summertime event have announced they too, will be canceling their festival for 2021.

Harborfest committee members announced Wednesday this year’s festival, which takes place annually during Father’s Day weekend in June, has been canceled due to ongoing pandemic concerns.

“After an enormous amount of thought, including discussions with community leaders and health professionals, the Harborfest Committee has made the difficult decision to cancel Harborfest for 2021,” committee President Ken VanHorn said in a news release. “While regional vaccination programs are ramping up, we feel there are still too many unknowns and uncertainties with the ever-changing restrictions and guidelines to allow us to proceed forward in safely hosting our wonderful festival.”

Harborfest Committee’s news comes as cases of the virus are increasing this month across Southwest Michigan and the United States.

With spring break looming for schools in April and more people possibly making the decision to travel for vacations, Van Buren/Cass District Health Department officials are keeping close watch on the recent rise in reported COVID-19 cases.

Two weeks prior to March 10, the health department recorded 129 new cases. “Since then (new cases) have increased significantly. It is a concern of ours that we’re watching closely, said Deputy Health Director Danielle Persky. “We’ve doubled the cases in the last week, so we’re concerned. We hope it’s just a random spike.”