Sumter's Fall for the Arts event postponed because of COVID-19 concerns


With COVID-19 raging again, one of Sumter's biggest art and cultural events will not be happening this fall.

The Sumter County Cultural Commission announced its annual Fall for the Arts has been postponed to 2022. The festival features live musical performances, artistic displays, open mic nights and other artistic and dance activities. The committee uses fees from the week-long event to contribute to more art events in Sumter.

The festival was held in October 2019 but was canceled last October because of the pandemic. This year's cancellation was announced as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in Sumter and South Carolina.

The art, music and food celebration had been set to take place from Oct. 27-31. However, Cheryl Moye, chairwoman of the cultural commission, said they plan to bring the festival back next year with a new timeframe.

The Atlanta Chinese Dance Company will perform at the first part of the festival on March 19, 2022, at Patriot Hall, and the rest of the activities will happen in October 2022, Moye said.

She said between now and March, the committee may consider moving the festival permanently to the spring and changing its name.

"We know there are people anxious to get out and do some things. If things are a lot better by then and the numbers come down, we'll be able to have Spring for the Arts instead of Fall for the Arts in 2022," Moye said.

She said she thinks more people will attend in March because of the warmer weather compared to October for residents to fully enjoy the events.

The committee hopes to get everything back on track by next year and said they will take advantage of the new timeframe to make the festival better than before.