Pickles aplenty

Natalie Rowan, 11, of Northfield, Mass., snacks on a pickle during the 2015 Winchester Pickle Festival.

WINCHESTER — With no end in sight to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual Winchester Pickle Festival this fall has been canceled.

The festival committee decided to forgo this year’s event at a meeting Tuesday, according to a news release emailed by committee President Kevin Bazan.

The festival had been slated for Sept. 26 and would have marked the celebration’s 23rd year. Typically, the day starts with a parade downtown, followed by carnival-like activities and plenty of pickle vendors to choose from.

“We thought it was prudent to give the vendors ample warning about our plans ... [and] there’s no clear scenario of what things will be like in September,” Bazan said. “We really couldn’t foresee the governor okaying events that hold up to 5,000 people.”

Bazan said the festival has never before been canceled.

N.H. Rep. Henry A.L. Parkhurst, who annually dons a green suit at the festival as “Mr. Pickle,” said he’s “heartbroken” by the news, but thinks it’s a smart decision.

“I think it’s one of the most wonderful things for the town of Winchester,” he said. “But I think we need to keep our town as healthy as we can. ... We’ve had it for 22 years; if we skip a year, that’s OK.”

The next festival is scheduled for Sept. 25, 2021, the news release says.

Olivia Belanger can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1439, or obelanger@keenesentinel.com. Follow her on Twitter @OBelangerKS.