MATTHEWS, N.C. (News Release) — The Board of Directors of the Matthews Alive Festival, a Labor Day tradition in Matthews for over 27 years, has announced their decision to cancel this year’s festival scheduled for September 4-7, 2020.
The Board agreed that the safety, health, and wellness of its partners and attendees was of utmost importance, and with so many uncertainties still surrounding the COVID-19 spread, they felt the unanimous decision was the best one to make at this time.
“So many things go into a decision such as this,” said Lee Anne Moore, Executive Director. “And the decisions have to be made now, to be ready for late August.”
“Of course, the safety of our volunteers, partners, and attendees is first and foremost. With so many people on the grounds over four days, there are many touchpoints of exposure—hand rails, rides, bounce houses, vendor booths, seating, dance floors, parade floats, food items, and more. We would have to have every one of those sanitized continuously. If you have seen our streets, park, parade, and Craft Pavilion during the festival, it is also easy to understand that physical distancing for 100,000+ attendees would also be difficult to do safely,” Moore continued.
The core mission of the Matthews Alive festival is raising money for local non-profits. Hundreds of volunteers from these local non-profits work alongside the event volunteers and staff at elements such as trash collection, ticketing, drink sales, parade production, game management, and more. The proceeds of the festival are then distributed to all of these groups.
“After safety, our second main concern is the lack of funding that will be available in 2020 for our non-profit partners. We plan to highlight them and their missions on our website and social media over the coming weeks—and if folks would like to contribute to them directly, we hope they will consider doing so,” Moore continued.
The Matthews Alive Board of Directors would like to thank the many sponsors, exhibitors, and vendors that were ready to participate. Novant Health-Matthews Medical Center was returning as overall Presenting Sponsor, Kinetic by Windstream was returning as Main Stage Sponsor and Maus Automotive was returning as Arts & Crafts Sponsor. “We cannot thank our sponsor partners enough, as well as the commercial exhibitors that had placed their confidence in us, and their funding with us for this year. So many have agreed to come back in 2021—and we thank them for their support, always,” said Moore.
Board members and key volunteers will be busy finalizing any details from 2020, and will quickly turn their sights to plans for Matthews Alive 2021. Moore concluded, “The decision to cancel was hard for all of us. But now we can watch how safe re-openings take place in our community, learn from smaller events that will happen through the year, and be ready for a safe, exciting Matthews Alive next Labor Day.”