Coronavirus

Lynchburg’s ‘Get Downtown’ 2020 event canceled

Coronavirus

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — The Downtown Lynchburg Association (DLA) has announced the cancellation of Lynchburg’s ‘Get Downtown’ 2020 event that was scheduled for September 11.

The DLA says the event was rescheduled due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, but that the event will return in 2021.

Starr Hill on Main opened a couple of weeks ago.

“It’s hard to even say what the full potential of our business is,” said General Manager Dan Powers, “operating at diminished capacities.”

Get Downtown would have helped raise awareness about the new brewery.

“Yeah it would have worked out great, but that’s okay. There will be hopefully other opportunities in the future.”

The decision was tough, but predictable.

“We are sad to have to cancel,” said Susan Brown, Program Director of Downtown Lynchburg Association. “An event that brings down 10,000 people wasn’t realistic in this climate. Plus, we know that we’re seeing an uptick of cases here in Lynchburg.”

A recovery initiative to support downtown businesses includes a gift card program, personal protective equipment for service workers, and more.

They’re holding a telethon at the end of the month to help fund the support system.

“I never thought I would be organizing a telethon this year,” said Brown, “but once again, we’re pivoting.”

The goal is to raise $50,000 and help introduce people to the businesses they would’ve learned about through get downtown.

“We will have some pre-recorded segments so you can get to know some of your downtown restaurant business owners,” said Brown.

Powers is in one of those segments.

“I recently got to be a part of that for a beer tasting segment,” he said.

The 12-hour telethon will stream online on July 30.

“While we are saddened that we will not be able to produce this fantastic community event, we know the safety of our citizens, vendors, entertainers, and downtown businesses is the priority and that cancelation is ultimately the responsible thing to do. Get Downtown is Lynchburg’s signature community street festival, and although we are heartbroken, we are already looking forward to a fantastic event in 2021.”

Ashley Kershner, Executive Director of Downtown Lynchburg Association

Instead, the DLA is inviting the community to support Downtown Lynchburg on July 30 for the Downtown-a-Thon — a 12-hour telethon to benefit the Downtown Recovery Initiative, which supports small businesses recovering from the impacts of the pandemic.

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