The Louisiana Sugar Cane Festival will not be happening this year, according to the festival's board of directors.
According to a prepared statement released today, the decision came after months of deliberation by the Louisiana Sugar Cane Festival and Fair Association.
"(The) Board of Directors came to the difficult and painful decision to cancel the 2020 festival," according to the statement. "The hardships imposed upon our farmers and the many people involved from around the state of Louisiana cannot be overlooked."
The reason for the cancellation is due to the financial and health issues from the COVID-19 virus.
The festival, which is held in Iberia Parish every year with few exceptions, is a celebration of Louisiana's sugar cane industry and brings residents all over the state to support one of the area's most important crops.
As Louisiana biggest sugar producer, Iberia Parish has been home to the Louisiana Sugar Cane Festival for decades.
Organizer Lisa Lourd said the decision to cancel this year's festival came with much deliberation by the festival's board of directors.
"It was going to be impossible to do a full festival," Lourd said. "It was not an easy decision by the board, there was a lot of deliberation and a lot of back and forth."
The festival, which is considered locally to be a big boon for the Iberia Parish economy, has undergone several big changes in recent years. Last year, the board of directors made the decision to relocate the fair to downtown New Iberia, near the festival's fais-do-do.
The event usually includes not only a fair, but pageants, live music, arts and craft shows and events for children.
"We would like to thank the public, our volunteers, members, and sponsors for their support, and we look forward to an even sweeter festival in 2021," according to the statement.