Last year the pandemic had different plans for the annual celebration, which caused business owners to miss out on much-needed revenue.
“This is a breath of fresh air for things to be returning back to normal,” Virginia Spencer, owner of Carolina Creations said.
Lynne Harakal is the executive director of Swiss Bear, the organization that plans MumFest. The pandemic forced them to get creative in 2020.
“It’s been a rough three years, we had the flood, then we had recovering from the flood, then we had COVID.”
This year, the city will have both MumFest this weekend and MumFeast dining in the streets the following weekend, which will bring tens of thousands of people to the city.
“We obviously had to pivot because of COVID and we had MumFeast instead,” Harakal said.
“It’s very important to the city, you know, MumFest is the largest event that we offer with the city and we couldn’t do it without Swiss Bear and it’s just a big event for everyone,” New Bern city manager Foster Hughes said.
Harakal also said COVID-19 precautions are in place, like hand sanitizer stations and vendors spread apart.
“People can feel more comfortable, they don’t have to be as close to each other as they move around.” Organizers and business owners alike are hopeful people feel safe enough to come out and enjoy.
“We also need to have the visitors; we can’t just survive on local. So, MumFest helps to bring that in,” Spencer said. According to Swiss Bear, about 90 to 100 thousand people attend MumFest over the two-day event.
Proceeds made over the weekend go back into the economic development of downtown New Bern. Copyright 2021 WITN. All rights reserved.