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COVID-19: Bookstock literary festival canceled; National Guard to hand out food in Thetford

  • Author John Elder, far left, leads a writing workshop at the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Woodstock, Vt., on July 25, 2014, as part of the weekend Boostock event. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Author John Elder, far left, leads a writing workshop at the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park on Friday as part of the annual Bookstock event, which continues through the weekend in Woodstock.Valley News — Geoff Hansen Valley News file photograph — Geoff Hansen

Staff, wire and VtDigger reports
Published: 5/13/2020 9:33:28 PM
Modified: 5/13/2020 9:33:20 PM

WOODSTOCK — The 12th annual Bookstock Literary Festival has been canceled, one of several major summer events in the Upper Valley that won’t be held because of health and safety concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Woodstock event, scheduled for July 31-Aug. 2 this summer, normally draws more than 1,000 visitors to town and includes presentations from about 40 authors and a large book sale on the Village Green.

“For the safety of guests, presenters and volunteers, the festival committee voted to cancel the event,” Bookstock Executive Director Sydney Sturgeon said in a news release.

Besides health concerns with a large public event, organizers also were concerned about the safety of volunteers who help manage the festival and sort and display books.

Authors are being notified and Bookstock organizers are hopeful that some individual events might be held later in the year if the coronavirus outbreak subsides.

Other events canceled this week include the West Windsor Independence Day Celebrations on July 3 and 4, including a parade and fireworks.

And New London Hospital said it was canceling its 96th annual Hospital Days, including its annual triathlon scheduled for Aug. 2.

“Hospital Days takes many months of planning and the unknowns associated with staging an event of this magnitude, at this particular time, are simply too great,” the hospital said in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

More food to be distributed in Thetford

Emergency management officials in Vermont plan to distribute more meals to Vermonters in need this month, including a distribution day in Thetford.

The Vermont National Guard will hand out two gallons of milk, 10 pounds of meat, a box of produce, Cabot cheese and butter, and a box containing up to 15 meals from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to each car at assorted locations.

That includes next Thursday, May 21, at Thetford Academy from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Recipients should pull up in their cars and open their trunks and the food will be loaded in. Officials asked that pets be left at home.

More than 6,000 boxes of food were distributed at a similar event late last month in North Springfield, Vt.

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