Kempenfest has been cancelled for the second year in a row

50th anniversary celebrations will have to wait until next year

The folks behind one of Barrie’s most popular summertime events will have to wait another year.

Kempenfest has been cancelled for 2021. The same was true in 2020 in what should have been the festival’s 50th anniversary. The celebration will now be held in 2022.

The festival was to take place from July 30 to August 2 this year, but the significant cost of holding the event has to be balanced against the uncertainty surrounding restrictions on gatherings, according to the festival’s organizers. “Ultimately, this is the right decision to make at this point in time for all concerned,” said Kempenfest chair Todd Tuckey. “Announcing this early in the year protects the festival for future years, and also allows the numerous vendors to seek out other opportunities for 2021 to ensure their own viability moving forward.”

Kempenfest typically has a $12 million impact on the local economy and supports many charities across the region. The loss of that revenue adds to an already struggling tourism sector. “Kempenfest is a summer tradition to so many folks, and it will be missed even more this year by both artisans and visitors alike,” states Kathleen Trainor, Executive Director of Tourism Barrie. “We will continue our efforts to assist in keeping Kempenfest top of mind as we look to next year and the 50th anniversary celebrations.”