Due to COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) and the state and federal guidelines in place, the 65th annual Poke Sallet Festival will take place June 4th-6th in a very different fashion than we are accustomed to in Harlan County.
Unfortunately, due to the restrictions in place restricting mass gatherings, there will be no in-person live concerts, no carnival rides, no inflatables, no games, etc. that we’ve all come to know and enjoy. That’s the bad news.
Here’s some good news! The Poke Sallet Festival Steering Committee has been meeting virtually coming up with a variety of activities to have available to our citizens on this Poke Sallet weekend in Harlan County, including making sure Poke Sallet meals are available! There are a lot of good things in the works, very good ideas have been generated, and there are going to be some neat announcements forthcoming soon regarding this festival, which will largely in part be held virtually. Stay tuned!
The committee considered canceling completely or potentially moving the festival to a date later in the year. Canceling would have been too easy and would have ended a tradition our county has had annually for decades. We approached many of our festival vendors, entertainment bookings, carnival, and other festival attractions, but could not find a weekend in which we could reschedule the festival to a date that would align with the schedule at the Harlan Center. This is also a very unpredictable thing to try and do right now because of the unpredictability of when restrictions will ease related to mass gatherings because of COVID-19.
Governor Beshear told Judge/Executives earlier this week that festival and fairs would not be able to be held in typical fashion until late summer or early fall at best.
Our festival committee is working extremely hard to still commemorate this important weekend Harlan Countians love.
We thank you for your understanding and look forward to sharing additional details with you very soon! Monitor our Poke Sallet Festival Facebook page and our website for additional information.
The Poke Sallet Festival Steering Committee
Family, Friends, Roots,
The 65th Annual Poke Sallet Festival begins on Thursday, June 4th and runs through Saturday, June 6th, 2020.
A letter of explanation is being mailed to all vendors in our database regarding the 2020 festival.