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H’COLA cancels African-American History Festival

Special to the Times

Apalachicola’s African-American History Festival won’t be in Franklin Square next month over Presidents’ Day weekend, nor will it be anywhere else.

In a news release, organizers from H’COLA (Hillside Coalition of Laborers for Apalachicola) of what would have been the 18th annual festival, wrote that “after much consideration, we have reached the difficult decision to cancel the (festival) due to the ongoing pandemic.

H'COLA logo

“H’COLA prioritizes the health and well-being of our community and since COVID-19 disproportionately affects the African-American population, we want to err on the side of caution and not host an event that could potentially become a super-spreader,” reads the release. “We are saddened with this decision but put your well-being ahead of anything else.”

H’COLA wrote that it plans to “still be proactive in celebrating African-American History Month. H’COLA is working to plan smaller, safer events that can be socially distant and follow CDC safety guidelines. Please follow our social media outlets to stay informed of developments as these activities are finalized.”

As part of the month-long celebration, the H’COLA’s Legends panels, which highlight the accomplishments of many of The Hill’s residents, will be on display throughout the county. “Businesses, government agencies and/or churches are encouraged to participate. If you would like to display one, please contact either 653-7515 or 323-0544.

“We appreciate your understanding and cooperation. Above all else, stay safe, take real good care, and we look forward to the 2022 African-American History Festival,” reads the release, with an invitation to visit HCOLA.org.