NEW ORLEANS, La. - After months of monitoring the rapidly evolving circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers of the National Fried Chicken Festival (FCF) presented by Raising Cane's have decided to cancel the 2020 festival to ensure the safety, health, and well-being of its guests, restaurants and team members. The three-day festival was set to celebrate its fifth anniversary with new guest experiences, including new activations and \restaurants this fall.
"While we are deeply disappointed that we will not be able to host the festival this year, the health and well-being of our guests and our entire community are our highest priority," said Cleveland Spears, III, Founder and Producer of the National Fried Chicken Festival. "We know that our hospitality industry and independently owned restaurants that vend at the festival have been devastated by this pandemic. We hoped that our festival would have assisted in our region's recovery and contribute to the state's cultural economy. We plan to return next year with an extraordinary experience and once again celebrate America's favorite dish."
FCF organizers were initially optimistic that the threat of the virus would pass and allow events to happen safely later in the year. However, recent data suggests that the U.S. is experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases. With most states, including Louisiana, experiencing increases in new cases, and a slowdown of reopening, organizers made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 festival.
"We remain focused on doing what's best for our Crew, our customers and our communities as well as with the events we support such as National Fried Chicken Festival," said Todd Graves, Raising Cane's Founder and CEO. "While we are disappointed that the festival can't go on as planned, we look forward to bringing everyone back together to celebrate in 2021."