Outdoor Zora Festival of the Arts activities rescheduled to June due to COVID concerns

EATONVILLE, Fla. — The recent surge in COVID-19 infections has forced the organizers of the 33rd annual Zora Neale Hurston Festival in Eatonville to reschedule their outdoor events.


The Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community’s Governing Board has moved the outdoor Festival to the weekend of June 4 through June 5. The festival had been scheduled to take place the weekend of January 28.

READ: Downtown Arts District expanding Third Thursday Orlando: Here’s what to expect

Tickets purchased for the January Outdoor Festival will be honored in June, organizers say. Full refunds are also available.

“Our board has chosen to reschedule the Outdoor festival of the Arts to June due to the surge in COVID infections in Central Florida,” P.E.C. Governing Board President Winfred Chad McKendrick said. “While we looked forward to this year’s celebrations with great anticipation, we know that the health of our festival attendees and our community is of paramount importance.”

The board was advised by their former President and CEO of the Center for Multicultural Wellness and Prevention, Inc. Marie-Jose Francois.

READ: Gatorland extends Florida resident discount

Francois agreed with the board’s decision, citing the emergence of the Omicron variant which now accounts for 95 percent of new COVID-19 infections in the United States.

“We need to look at the health of the community first,” Francois said in a statement. “A large gathering like the Zora Festival could be a mass spreader event, enabling the rapid transmission of the virus.”

Organizers still have a slate of virtual programming planned for January.

Photos: Iron Gwazi to open in March at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

To see the full schedule of events or request a refund for tickets, click here.

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.