Chapel Hill Chinese New Year Festival organizer speaks out after event postponed

Orange County News

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – On Monday, organizers of Chapel Hill’s 2020 LightUp Festival announced that they would be postponing the event due to concerns with the recent Coronavirus.

The LightUp Festival brings about 5,000 people to the plaza at 140 West Franklin Street every year.

The event includes an abundance of culture which includes dragon dancing and authentic Chinese food.

But with the recent outbreak of the Coronavirus in China, organizers said they did not want to take any chances.

“It’s developing very fast,” said Hongbin Gu, an event organizer and Chapel Hill City Councilor. “In the U.S. we have five confirmed cases and so I think there is a lot of concern in our communities.”

Gu said that with it being a busy travel season and with the strong Chinese population in Chapel Hill, they thought it was a good idea to postpone the event until the outbreak ends.

“There are a lot of uncertainties about this new virus, so I think out of abundance of caution we decided to postpone this event,” Gu said.

Gu said the cancellation could hurt some downtown businesses that benefit from the extra foot traffic downtown every year.

“We were really preparing for a big celebration, it’s unfortunate we had to do this at this time,” Gu said. “But I think that the people’s health takes precedence.”

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