ALBANY — As 2020 goes, so does LarkFest.
Organizers of the annual street festival made it official late last week. A statement from the Lark Street BID shared what the rest of the Capital District had already assumed. No live music. No street vendors. No LarkFest for 2020.
Touted as the largest one-day street festival in New York, LarkFest features top-tier local musicians on stages that bookend street vendors peddling a variety of exotic foods, arts and services. It highlights the diverse character of Lark Street that often draws comparisons to New York City.
“To us, LarkFest is a celebration of everything unique and exciting about Lark Street, and the creative culture of the greater Capital Region of New York,” Lark Street BID said in a statement last Friday. “This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are unable to hold this event we so dearly cherish.”
It’s the first time LarkFest has been canceled since 2001. The festival was canceled shortly after the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
Since state-mandated shutdowns were enforced in March, establishments have slowly opened back for business. However, CDC suggestions have molded a new overall experience defined by masks, social distancing and limited crowd sizes.
Farmers Markets, like the one in Washington Park, have been allowed to reopen through Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s tiered opening schedule. Those require vendors wear masks, and several more markets aid customers by marking the ground to encourage social distancing. LarkFest, which commonly packs the block each year, would not have maintained safe distancing.
“The safety of our community always has been, and will continue to be, our highest priority,” said Lark Street BID.