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Ohio River Sternwheel Festival canceled

File photo Sternweelers are lined up ready for visitors during last year’s Ohio River Sternwheel Festival. Organizers are postponing the 45th festival until September 2021.

Staff reports

Organizers announced Thursday the 45th Ohio River Sternwheel Festival will not take place until September 2021, as the event planned for 2020 had to be canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Despite our best efforts, it has become clear that we will be required to postpone the 45th Ohio River Sternwheel Festival until September 2021,” read a social media post Thursday evening.

As a matter of health and safety for “our festival attendees, volunteers, vendors, performers, and the Mid-Ohio Valley area with all its businesses and employees,” organizers wrote that the festival board and Marietta/Belpre Health Department had jointly come to the conclusion that it would not be possible to ensure the wellbeing of 60,000-100,000 people in the small area where the festival is held.

Because the event is partially supported by private donations and corporate sponsorship, organizers said they are “actively working on ways that we can still bring snippets of the ORSF spirit to you this year,” and reminded the community donations toward that and the 2021 event can be mailed to:

Ohio River Sternwheel Festival, P.O. Box 2109, Marietta, OH 45750.

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