JAMESTOWN – The fate of several annual festivals remains unknown nationwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the 2020 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival is no different.
WNYNewsNow asked Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist during a teleconference “town hall” Wednesday if the festival will still happen this year. Sundquist declined to comment on that specific question, deferring to the National Comedy Center, who hosts the event.
Sundquist says, as of Wednesday, the NCC hasn’t filed any permit requests to the city.
“However, that’s not uncommon considering the time,” Sundquist said. “But I do know that everyone is wondering what is going to happen. I will tell you that we’ve seen a lot of different organizers start to cancel or reschedule events as there is some general fear over large gatherings.”
“We will support their (NCC) work and that festival in any way we can.”
As of publish time, officials from the National Comedy Center have not returned a request for comment.
WNYNewsNow also asked Sundquist about the impact, from his perspective, that the Comedy Festival would have on the city if it’s held. Sundquist says the city would see an economic boom.
“Anytime the city can have a large amount of influx of people that are staying here, that are spending their time here, that are going to our restaurants and supporting our activities, that’s always a great thing in terms of sales tax revenue and in terms of supporting our small businesses,” Sundquist said. “Having that festival is absolutely huge, but my other concern and my top priority is the health and safety of our residents. There is a real question whether people are going to be ready or willing to be in larger groups over the summer.”
The 2020 Festival is currently scheduled for Aug. 5-9.
WNYNewsNow will continue to follow the story as it develops, and will continue to put facts over fear as coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic continues.