GOLCONDA (WSIL) -- Bad news for Shrimp lovers, COVID-19 has prompted organizers to cancel this year's Golconda Shrimp Festival.
The event has been bringing people together in Pope County since 2001.
Organizers say the 9-11 tragedy nearly stopped that first festival, but they used the event to unite people.
They hoped for a similar feel this year, but the pandemic's impact does not allow for a safe event.
"Ultimately, the deeper into the summer we got and with the current situations with case numbers rising in southern Illinois again we felt it was probably best to cancel the Golconda Shrimp Festival for this year," said Main Street Golconda President Nathan Ryder.
Shrimp fest was the biggest fundraiser for Main Street Golconda, which works on improvements all around Pope County.
The organization hopes to fill a hole in their budget by commemorating the loss of the festival.
"We are actually going to be doing a non-event Shrimp Fest T-Shirt this year that will have sort of a humorous play on coronavirus taking down the Shrimp Festival for 2020," said Ryder.
The T-Shirt design isn't finished yet, but when it is you can find it on News 3.
Ryder says the decision is disappointing, but hopes everyone will return for the 2021 Festival.