For 29 years, CumberlandFest has been our town’s premier summer event. Featuring a huge carnival midway, quality musical entertainment, a wide array of food vendors, an arts and crafts fair, special events and gigantic fireworks display, CumberlandFest has attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors over the years and raised more than a million dollars in support of youth programs in Cumberland.
CumberalndFest 2020 would have been our 30th anniversary celebration, and plans were well underway to make this year’s event our best yet. Unfortunately, no one anticipated the impact the COVID-19 pandemic would have on all of us, and so many of the things that we take for granted.
While our Board of Directors and Executive Council regret having to cancel CumberlandFest 2020, Rhode Island’s social distancing guidelines, which remained in effect throughout the summer, left us no choice. Above all, our primary responsibility must be to do all that we are able to ensure public safety, reduce the chance of infection, and work toward returning to a sense of normalcy.
Although our 30th anniversary festival will need to wait until 2021, our mission continues. We will be working with our sponsors and youth organizations to identify alternative activities for the development of our youth and benefit of the community. Although COVID-19 has taken its toll, we will come together, even if apart.
CumberlandFest is the creation of the Cumberland Youth Activities Council (CYAC), a nonprofit 501c-3 that was formed in 1991 to raise money for youth activities in Cumberland. Through the patronage of thousands of attendees, the assistance of hundreds of event volunteers and the community-wide support of business sponsors, CumberlandFest has contributed more than $1,000,000 to youth programs over its 30-year history.