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Small Kentucky town forced to cancel 4th of July festival due to COVID-19

Published: Jul. 2, 2020 at 3:59 PM EDT
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MIDWAY, Ky. (WYMT) - The 4th of July will be different for many. Because of the pandemic, thousands of people who typically visit a historic small town in Central Kentucky may have other plans.

The small town Midway had to cancel their big July 4th festival this year.

Like the train that cuts right through the middle of town, COVID-19 made a deep cut in the middle of this small town’s psyche.

“I mean it was sad. Because it’s usually full of cars, you can’t find a parking spot. Like a ghost town,” said Morgan Castle with Gigi and George.

Nearly every business in the town, that’s only a few blocks long, was shut down for months. Reopening brought some back but it’s still not the same.

“It’s kind of heartbreaking really,” said Ken Glass.

Glass runs the local pharmacy that’s also a soda fountain and understands the health concerns but on the other hand, says COVID-19 has hurt in other ways.

”You’re talking about people’s livelihood and communities that need to spend time together, there is some health value to that, too,” said Glass.

Midway is known for its history but current times, bringing annual festivals including a July 4th event that had to be canceled.

“Oh, it would be bustling in a normal time. Generally a packed downtown, people dining, people shopping, walking around,” said Mayor Grayson Vandegrift.

The little town is still a busy place the Thursday before the holiday, but just not as busy as it would have been had this been a normal year.

“We get hundreds of thousands of visitors a year, summer months, 10′s of thousands. On any given night there are hundreds of people in downtown Midway,” said Vandegrift.

“I feel like the traffic on Friday and Saturday’s hasn’t really declined so much since people are driving to destinations instead of flying. So they are more opt to explore,” said Castle.

Midway’s mayor says the town folk are resilient and hope they can bounce back from all of this.

Midway’s mayor says the town gave a $50 voucher to every person living in the town to spend at local businesses. They are working on a grant program paid for by the CARES Act to help make up for the losses during the shutdown.

Copyright 2020 WYMT. All rights reserved.

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