SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE, Virginia – Officials with the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce (SMLRCC) announced the cancellation of the 32nd Annual Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival scheduled for September 26-27 at Mariners Landing because of concerns with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The uncertainty surrounding state regulations coupled with the ability to comply with current mandatory requirements for social gatherings dictated this decision.
“We sincerely held out as long as possible before making a final decision but after several months of reviewing any and all possible scenarios, there truly were no sufficient options to ensure both a safe and quality event,” stated Christopher Finley, executive director. “It’s heartbreaking because this is our biggest annual event to showcase Smith Mountain Lake and support the local economy but the safety of our attendees, residents, staff, vendors and volunteers remains our top priority.”
Proceeds from this annual event benefit the SMLRCC, which is funded 100% on membership dues, sponsorships, and events. As a 501(c)6 organization, SMLRCC has not been eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding through the CARES Act legislation.
“Funds from the Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival support our efforts to sustain operations, continue community programs and provide services to our members, promote tourism, and manage the Smith Mountain Lake Visitor Center,” said Finley. “These are challenging and uncertain times but, in the end, we chose to put people’s safety over our needs right now.”
Plans are already underway for the festival to return September 25-26, 2021.
Photo credit: David Hungate
About Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce
The SMLRCC is dedicated to promoting tourism and growing business for its members and the community. As a member-driven organization with 700 members, the SMLRCC provides information, advocacy, and support to the lake’s growing business community. SMLRCC’s goal is to strengthen the social and economic environment of the region. Visit online at visitsmithmountainlake.com.