It’s a phrase I’ve quickly grown tired of this year – “everything looks different.”

Unfortunately, that phrase perfectly encompasses the reality that is 2020. Businesses know this all too well – projections are off, revenues are down, foot traffic stopped entirely and has not returned to normal yet. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of us – it’s separated us, divided us and stressed us all out.

This was the dilemma we faced when planning the Culpeper Chamber of Commerce’s 40th Annual CulpeperFest, with signature sponsor Novant Health UVA Health System Culpeper Medical Center. Originally scheduled for June 2020, we pushed it to the fall earlier in the year. With the pandemic still a major concern, we met with our CulpeperFest committee to find a way to safely bring together our community and businesses. After a long discussion, we determined a walk-through model would make the most sense – and that hosting it at Eastern View High School’s track would ensure that the public would be able to feel safe entering in one location, exiting in another and keeping the flow of traffic going in one way. We are following the school’s mitigation plan that reads “masks are expected,” and we’re distancing 10-x-10 tents six feet apart.

We’re excited to still be able to connect our community with our businesses and provide an amazing experience full of family fun! Each year the community looks forward to CulpeperFest and we want to be the beacon of hope that next year we’ll be back to normal! We will have the Culpeper County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association showing off their large vehicles, a birds of prey display, non profits, small businesses, large businesses, photo opportunities and food and drink vendors offering to go options.

Different can be a good thing. Our hope is that CulpeperFest will be an opportunity for our community to feel safe and stay connected in Culpeper. We also realize that many in the community may still not feel safe coming out, so we are addressing that by hosting Facebook Live updates throughout CulpeperFest, highlighting sponsors and vendors.

Tickets can be acquired for free on Event Brite by visiting or they will be available at the door for $5. We are also still looking for volunteers, so if you’d like to help set up or volunteer during the event, email

This year we’ve been able to find new ways to engage our community and our businesses and we’re hoping that CulpeperFest highlights the good that is happening in our community. Businesses and nonprofits can share how they’ve adapted and be able to greet old friends and meet new customers!

We hope that you join us and make the 40th Annual CulpeperFest a success!