The 2020 Harvest Fest at the Buckner Orchard in Stehekin is canceled. Additionally, the appearance of The Kevin Jones Band at the Orchard in September, likewise, will not occur.
As with many other events, restrictions relative to the pandemic prevent an event such as Harvest Fest from happening. Phase 4, which would be a return to normal, would need to be in place for these events to occur. Currently, Chelan County is in Phase 1.5, with little hope of advancing as all counties are now indefinitely frozen in their current phases.
A modified or lesser form of Harvest Fest has been suggested, but again, the number restrictions alone rule this out. Nothing, though, precludes community members or visitors from having their own picnic and picking, at any time, at the Orchard, as long as they comply with Washington State's Phase restrictions in place at that time.
Cancellation of Harvest Fest will not affect the annual harvesting of apples at the Orchard, and it is highly likely that cider making by the community will resume as it has in the past, or in some similar form. A plan for safe health-related practices for picking and pressing in 2020 is being developed and will be shared with the community. There is a heavy crop and human harvesting is very necessary to preclude damage by bear and elk once the electric fences are removed prior to snow fall.
The event cancellations are made now so as to allow adequate time to change reservations at businesses and cabins in the Valley, should visitors choose to do so. Most of these businesses have 30-day cancellation policies, with various caveats. Timing of the cancellation will also allow these businesses more time to re-book any vacated rooms and cabins.
Though we are very disappointed at having to cancel this annual celebration, we encourage everyone to individually jump in to help harvest and enjoy this year's bumper crop at the Historic Buckner Orchard!