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37th Pungo Strawberry Festival canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic

"In order to protect the safety and wellbeing of all concerned, we cannot risk bringing large crowds together during these challenging times."

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The 37th Pungo Strawberry Festival is canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Festival board members made the announcement on Wednesday.

The festival has been held in Pungo since 1984 on Memorial Day weekend and celebrates the unofficial start of summer and the area's agricultural heritage.

"This decision did not come lightly. We have been in regular contact with Virginia Beach city leaders in the hopes of keeping the festival a real possibility," said festival Chairman Todd Jones.

"However, the Governor’s Executive Order is clear. In order to protect the safety and wellbeing of all concerned, we cannot risk bringing large crowds together during these challenging times."

The festival will return in 2021, Jones said.

Other notable summer events in Hampton Roads have also been canceled due to the pandemic.

The 2020 Norfolk Harborfest has been canceled. The Bayou Boogaloo Music & Cajun Food Festival has been postponed to later this year.

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