Out of concern for public health and safety in light of the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Visit Gahanna and the city of Gahanna announced April 17 the annual Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival has been canceled this year.

This marks the first time the festival has been canceled in its 22 years. The annual event was scheduled June 19-21.

“The decision to cancel this year’s festival was not made lightly,” said Laurie Jadwin, Gahanna mayor. “Due to the planning that must take place for the event and the current situation imposed by COVID-19, it is impossible to properly prepare for this event.”

The Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival annually attracts 32,000 people to Gahanna’s Creekside District for music, local food and family activities.

Jadwin previously served as the chairperson of the Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival for 13 years, while also serving as director of Visit Gahanna for the past six years.

“Our office has been working closely with Lori Kappes, Visit Gahanna executive director, as the circumstances around the pandemic have continued to evolve,” Jadwin said. “While we were all looking forward to celebrating this event, we agreed that the safety of our residents and visitors is of the utmost importance.”

Kappes said the Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival’s planning committee is hoping to reschedule this year’s musicians and retain its sponsors for the festival’s return in 2021.

“Speaking on behalf of the Visit Gahanna team, we are all very sad about canceling this year’s event and will be working extra hard to plan a fitting celebratory return in 2021,” Kappes said.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla