Faced with dire forecasts and growing vendor cancellations, organizers of the 26th annual KingFest decided Friday to postpone the event until Nov. 7.
King Chamber of Commerce Director Cathy Loveday said that many vendors had called the chamber office Thursday expressing concerns about being able to attend KingFest on Saturday, noting that all of the planned food vendors had said they would not be able to be there because of the weather.
King Mayor Jack Warren said the forecast for torrential rain and possible flooding also posed a safety risk for the event.
“Given the forecast we will have a group on standby for the weather and they will also be the same people who would be working KingFest,” he explained. “If there were to be a weather emergency they would have had to leave KingFest because we have to take care of our citizens and our roads. Given what the weatherman has been predicting I think it was a great idea to reschedule the event.”
Loveday said the chamber phones had been ringing off the hook with vendors expressing concerns about the impact of the weather on their potential sales and merchandise.
“A lot of their products could have been ruined by wind and rain and it would be damaging to their inventory and they may not be able to recoup that,” she said. “They were also worried about the scarcity of people at the event given the weather forecast.”
Loveday said all but one of the entertainment activities had confirmed that they would still be able to perform at KingFest on Nov. 7. She added that readers of the Stokes News should hold on to the special KingFest tabloid published on Oct. 1, saying that most of the information in it should still be accurate when KingFest is held on Nov. 7.
“We might even pick up some additional vendors by postponing it,” she said. “A lot of our vendors from other events like Meet Me on Main were not able to come this weekend because it fell on the same weekend as the Apple Festival and the Dixie Classic Fair. They may now be able to participate on Nov. 7.”
Warren said that while the KingFest committee hated to change the event date at the last minute, it seemed to be the prudent thing to do.
“We are doing this for safety reasons and because of our vendor participation,” he said.
“We also want to give our community a good event,” added Loveday. “The whole idea of KingFest is to bring together the community and we want to make sure they can come and enjoy a good event. The cards were just not falling right at all for that to happen this weekend.”
Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.