W.C. Handy Festival scaled back due to COVID-19 concerns


FLORENCE, Ala. — An annual summer festival in the Shoals will look a little different this year.

The W.C. Handy Festival is making changes to its 2020 festival because of COVID-19 concerns. Many in-person events, like the annual parade and bike ride, have been canceled in favor of drive-in and virtual events.

To help slow the spread of the virus, the festival is selling Handy face masks for $5.

T-shirts are also available for $15. Both can be purchased at the Florence-Lauderdale Visitors Center.

Florence-Lauderdale Tourism President and CEO, Rob Carnegie, said despite the changes, going virtual will help spread the festival’s reach beyond the Shoals.

“This is sort of a test for the committee as well for the international market in terms of them being able to do virtual events online which will then just open up and expose the Handy Festival to a larger market who will be watching online,” Carnegie said.

The headquarters for the festival changed this year as well; they will be at the Florence-Lauderdale Visitors Center instead of the Kennedy-Douglas Center.

The festival will take place July 17-26.

For more information on the festival, click here.

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