Labor Day Street Festival Cancelled

Labor Day Street Festival Cancelled
The Arlington Labor Day Weekend Festival of the Arts, that was to be held in Clarendon, has been cancelled due to an “unforeseen issue with local authorities is preventing the show from taking place.” The cancellation occurred prior to the results of LVCA’s quick poll being communicated to the County. Kudos to the County for figuring this out on its own. Thank you to all 261 LV residents who responded to the poll.

Many LV residents added insightful comments that are worth reading…

“No, the event should be cancelled this year” Comments
● Thank you so much. I feel strongly this event is unnecessary during a pandemic. I work in the visual arts so I am sympathetic to the vendors, but with a little effort this event could easily pivot to online sales. I don’t think the county can legally enforce that people outdoors must wear masks without changing rules for the county as a whole. It is unrealistic to believe that either masks or social distancing will be enforced given that sidewalk crowding outside the bars in Clarendon last weekend was still as bad as ever. I wish the board would prioritize getting the community spread under control so that schools can reopen.
● I don’t see how they can monitor attendance and keep people from standing close together. So disappointed in Arlington County. This is not essential in any manner, and puts our community’s recovery at risk.
● Why take chances at a time like this? Nothing have changed since March!! Why put people at risk? Cancel the event please.
● This is against everything we are trying to do to remain safe. It will be a big crowd and carry much risk. Everything else has been cancelled. This should too.
● Socializing in Clarendon has already been identified as a driver of new cases in Arlington. This event will only worsen the problem. It should be cancelled for this year.
● All large events, even out side, should be cancelled until there is a vaccine and a significant number of people have received the vaccine. Just looking at the news that large events cause spread of the virus.
● It was canceled earlier in the spring, with the Covid rates rising it seems absurd to carry-on and have the festival.
● Who is going to make sure social distancing will be kept? The bars in Clarendon are already full of crowds not social distancing.
● This is against everything we are trying to do to remain safe. It will be a big crowd and carry much risk. Everything else has been cancelled. This should too.
● Unfortunately, people still do not know how to keep social distance and some continue not to wear masks or have the children that accompany them wear masks. As we have heard, children and among the least affected but “wonderful” hosts and spreaders of the virus. An event like this one targeted to attract a large number of people (including children!) heightens the chances of many being infected. Further, the fact that people could get COVID-19 if attending this event is foreseeable and I believe, as a lawyer, that Arlington County may/could face liability if holding this event.
● I have older parents. I do not want crowds filling the neighborhood. Even if they themselves are safe, neighbors could get ill and spread it to my parents later. We should all sacrifice for 2020 and celebrate in 2021.
● Maybe move it to a less crowded and problematic location
● There is absolutely no way to enforce the wearing of masks or social distancing at an outdoor festival. As it is, ACPD still hasn’t even been able to stop sidewalk crowding around bars in Clarendon.
● Are the approvers nuts! This is not the time for any “uncontrollable” gatherings. Too many folks are still listening to stupidity.
● Unless they limit how many people “enter” the event at any one time (similar to what they do at the Farmer’s Market.) That would require restricting entrance/exit points, which may not be do-able.
● What is the size and event. If it is 4 families on a street I am ok with it. If more than 25 people less so
● Stop the virus! Stop large gatherings!
● “It makes the most sense to cancel or go virtual. LVCA will have my loud support for either of these positions.
● And, the LVCA (including me) should be unhappy that the County did not give LVCA notice.
● Thank you.”
● Sorry, too many super-spreader events. Too difficult to enforce social distancing. Send us a list and photos of the wares of Washington-area artists, so we can buy something to support them during Covid times.
● “If we want our children in Arlington Public Schools to ever
● safely return to in-person learning, we absolutely must prohibit these mass gatherings until COVID-19 is under control and rapid testing is widely available. It’s a small sacrifice at this point. Events like this where proper mask wearing and social distancing are spotty at best—especially among 20- and 30-somethings (see The Lot Beer Garden on any given weekend)—are not in the best interest of the community’s health and collective well being. These events unduly impact Lyon Village, especially streets like Garfield (our street), Fillmore, Highland and others that border Wilson Boulevard.”
● I have to keep my kids home from school while everyone parties on. We all need to take responsibility to get this over with.
● A festival is not crucial enough for taking chances with covid-19 spread
● If the fair will draw a large group of crowded people, and be inconsistent with the County’s regulations about 3 or or more people on County streets, then it should be cancelled.
● Please provide more info on the location of the festival. Description is too vague. What is this festival for?
● This should so NOT be happening. Are we not trying to get this virus under control? There is no way that will happen with events like this. And in my neighborhood makes it even worse (for my family and neighbors).
● I have three kids who can’t go to school. These events must be cancelled until community spread is reduced to a level that schools can reopen. That needs to be the standard.
● No information about enforcement of covid-safety protocols has been provided. I do not see a realistic way to go forward with this event safely.
● I am reluctant to ask my neighbors not to do this given how cooped up we all feel. But I do worry about this event spreading covid to me or my family.
● I don’t see how they can monitor attendance and keep people from standing close together. So disappointed in Arlington County. This is not essential in any manner, and puts our community’s recovery at risk.
● Arlington county leadership has done a bad job especially in clarendon to minimize the spread of covid19. allowing this event to happen would be another example of their bad judgement.
● Now is not the time for street festivals. As a resident of LV I am absolutely opposed to this event given Covid-19
● I’m disappointed we even have to be discussing this. An event that will attract crowds is a danger to us all.
● The most stupid idea I have heard of in recent weeks. It sounds like something Trump would propose.
● The one thing we are pretty convinced of is that this virus spreads primarily by close contact. My faith in how our county is handling Covid is rapidly deteriorating. My husband and I have lived in Arlington for 43 years.
● How do you enforce mask-wearing? Neighbors overseeing neighbors? A recipe for disaster.
● Keep Arlington safe and especially Lyon Village!
● Seems like an odd choice for our community – for our own safety and as an example to others especially our children.
● The safety of the citizens and the community should always be first
● outrageous

“No, they can make it a virtual event like others have done” Comments
● Let’s get schools open before we consider large social events.
● I’m also fine with them cancelling it altogether.
● We have to do the hard work!!!!
● How will attendees to this festival be able to socially distance and follow the Arlington County requirement of groups of no more than three people together within 6 feet on the sidewalks?
● There is no way folks can social distance
● Dumb and so unnecessary.
● Given that months have passed since this event was originally planned, there would have been ample time to showcase the artists’ work for purchase online. It has been my experience that people aren’t able to socially distance adequately even in small groups. If this event does go forward as planned, alcohol should not be served.
● County board likely received a kickback since one party rule leads to corruption. How can a festival not get $100 congregation fines?
● Since we became aware of the virus, all spikes in infections have been associated with large outdoor gatherings, indoor gatherings or nursing homes. This proposal has people all in one specific area with no realistic hope of social distancing and therefore can reasonable be expected to lead to a spike. It is negligence to move forward.
● The County should not condone large outdoor gatherings at this time.
● I do believe that this event will spread Covid 19- it will be extremely difficult to enforce social distancing in a Street Fair!! However, I am certainly Not Going to Attend this Fair because I would be exposing myself and my family to disease. So, bottom line, I think it is foolish for the County Board to approve this festival when we are trying to hold back this scourge! And this is not an essential activity.
● Thank you for asking our opinion.
● I had no idea about this. It seems irresponsible.
● Numbers in Arlington are creeping back up. Schools before festivals.
● “Latest study, per NBC nightly news, is that 6’ is a minimum distance as droplets in the air can last longer in the air and travel farther than previously studied.
● Cancel the event if they don’t want to go virtual. WTH is wrong with the County Board for allowing this?????”
● A recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association last week says that the six-foot separation recommendation is based on outdated research. New research is indicating that aerosol droplets can remain in the air for hours and can travel much farther than previously thought. This news makes this kind of event especially troubling being anywhere near (my front yard?) an event like this.
● I do not live in Lyon Village anymore. Moved to Texas last December. Texas is among the states that closed only partially and had no mask requirement until recently. Covid is rampant. Just a word of advice to my former neighbors. Please stay safe and so not allow this event.
● If you do have it, I will not be attending. I am 77 years old and doing everything I can to protect my health.
● Dumb and so unnecessary.
● If county fair can be virtual, so can the Street festival this year.
● Hold as planned ONLY if mask-wearing enforced
● Thank you for organizing this, please stop the spread! Hope they can reasonably cancel or make it virtual.
● Why are they treated differently from the rest?
● this is not an essential event.
● Thank you for organizing this, please stop the spread! Hope they can reasonably cancel or make it virtual.
● An event that brings additional people to the neighborhood unnecessarily would be a safety/security threat and should be avoided either by going virtual or cancelling.

“Yes, hold the street-fair as planned” Comments
● It’s outdoors and people can social distance
● Outdoor transmission is incredibly low. Recent studies show it is 20 times safer than indoors. I think we have to try to start holding some events to help with our economy. We can’t stay locked down forever. And I agree – schools should be opened before restaurants and bars were. We are prioritizing the wrong thing as a society.
● “All I have read suggests that outdoor activities such as this do not pose nearly the same risk as indoor activities. I am not aware of any outdoor event being classified as a “super spreader” event. I think that term is being bandied about inappropriately. Plus, outdoor events like this have been held in other places in the country without an issue. (Not to mention the widespread protests). I also believe we should allow safe events such as this that are good for local businesses. I urge you to let the event go forward!”
● Frankly, the notion that someone on the LVCA board has asserted that events like this have been “super spreader” events is deeply troubling. There has not been any event like this, anywhere in this country, that has been documented as a “super spreader” event. Our leaders are entitled to their own opinions but not their own facts. There is no factual basis for the use of the term “super spreader event” in connection with an event like this — or, for that matter, for the sentiment that would throw events like this into question. And let’s not pretend that these are harmless opinions. Translated into policy, these ideas — or, more precisely, the people promoting them — have destroyed our economy and are harming our community and its residents.
● Attendees should wear masks and practice social distancing as much as is possible. Local residents who are high risk should not attend.
● Thank you for asking.
● Don’t be pussy!
● None of these answers, even though you required one. I had to Google the event to learn what “as planned” men’s … it’s clear you would rather scare us than inform us. It’s a two block art festival, not Clarendon day. If it can be held with appropriate distancing and within phase 3 capacity limits , then it should.
● If the event is modified, it can take place, just as the farmers market does. If vendors violate safety rules they can be removed from the event and requested to leave.
● Hold the street festival but enforce social distancing; limit the number walking around so that social distancing is possible
● This outdoor event is not likely to draw a crowd of beer-drinking people who will cluster and remove masks. Providing there will NOT be a bar tent, I say let it go ahead.
● “All I have read suggests that outdoor activities such as this do not pose nearly the same risk as indoor activities. I am not aware of any outdoor event being classified as a “super spreader” event. I think that term is being bandied about inappropriately. Plus, outdoor events like this have been held in other places in the country without an issue. (Not to mention the widespread protests). I also believe we should allow safe events such as this that are good for local businesses. I urge you to let the event go forward!”
● I feel strongly that this event should not be cancelled due to Covid.
● Masks must be required and there should be limited entrance to reduce density
● The street fair is an art fair which should have been mentioned in the description. People have the choice to attend or not. The people who are most at risk are the vendors. They have the choice to participate or not. It looks like masks are required, it will be open air, they will limit the number of people. Likely lower risk group attending. This to me is much less of a problem than the lines of people outside of Whitlows or the front yard keg parties that occur in Lyon Village.
● “Whatever the County Board approves is fine with me” Comments
● It is certainly outside – but it will not adhere to the recent “groups of 3 or more” ordinance
● Such a tough call. The artists undoubtedly rely on the opportunity to sell their wares at events like this, and it *is* outside. If masks are REQUIRED, and it is enforced, and people make their own choice to attend, it seems like it might be an opportunity to gauge where we are. Personally, I won’t attend, but some people might. Again, MASK wearing must be enforced, because there’s no way to keep people six feet apart. Arlington County officials need to agree to assist, and not leave it up to the organizers and vendors.
● If this is outside, with control over the number attending, enough space, masks required and no alcohol then it’s a good test of how we could return to pre-COVID.
● “If the promoters of the event set up the event with distinct entries in effect corraling the artists into distinct areas using perhaps cheap orange net plastic fencing and if the promoters had at least two people at each entry handing out free masks and saying “”Help keep our artists safe”” then I feel the event could go on. Since the county is reluctant to enforce its restrictions–just look at the people lining up along Wilson to get to Whitlow’s no-cover charge rooftop bar on the weekends–then it is hypocritical of the county to deny this event. The lack of any social distancing or masking among the crowds of people on a weekend who wander along Wilson Blvd. and Clarendon Blvd. looking for a place to eat is very disturbing. Whitlow’s has six-feet lines marked on the Wilson St. sidewalk and has posted fliers requesting social distancing and masks on all its windows. Do any of the people in line notice the signs or care? Apparently not. Whose responsibility is it? The county’s or Whitlow’s?
● I trust the county board to make the smart decision

“No opinion” Comments
● I will stay away from it, just like I stay away from the bars that are open. I do not think this will impact the risk of people in the neighborhood. But it is dumb to do it!
● I don’t know. It sounds like smart guidelines are in place – it’s an art show not a bar crawl. Your cover email says “There is a history of such events leading to “super spreader” incidents.” I haven’t read about outdoor superspreader events but I would like to know if they are a big risk.
● There should be another option, i. e., hold the event with safe distancing, limited and timed entry, and masks similar to the Farmers Market procedures.