Fall festival expected to draw thousands as COVID-19 cases continue climbing

ELLWOOD CITY, Pa. — A fall festival and car show in Ellwood City is expected to draw thousands this coming weekend. The Chamber of Commerce said people want to be out and back together but some are questioning the timing of holding the event with COVID-19 cases still climbing.

“People are ready to get out and be together and celebrate together,” said Ellwood City Chamber of Commerce’s executive director Dale Thomson.

Thomson said last year’s event was canceled and he expects this weekend’s to be even bigger.

“In 2019 we had over 6,000 people here for the fall fest and car cruise so we’re looking for as big of a crowd, if not bigger,” he said. “We’re outdoors. Everyone needs to do what they’re comfortable with. If you want to put a mask on to feel comfortable, please do that.”

Some argue now isn’t the time for a major event like this, however. Lawrence County, Beaver County and Butler County all have high rates of COVID-19 transmission and children are testing positive.

Heritage Valley Hospital told Channel 11 its emergency departments are slammed, wait times are high and frontline workers are triaging based on severity. Walk-in clinics reported being swamped too, seeing double or nearly triple their average volume.

“We’ve done all we can do. The rest is up to the individual, and everyone has to do what they’re comfortable with,” Thomson said.