CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — As Hurricane Ian’s path continues to fluctuate, Central Virginians are responding accordingly, updating their calendars in parallel with changing weather expectations.

The 2nd Street Festival at the Jackson Ward is a large-scale event in Richmond. Sharon Bassard has been working with her team to plan the festival since March. She said it attracts around 35,000 people each year.

“Once the governor declared it a state of emergency, we thought it would be best, especially for the safety of our patrons, just to cancel it,” Bassard said.

A 2nd Street Festival T-shirt design 2022, prior to event’s cancellation. Photo courtesy of Sierra Krug.

This Richmond-based festival isn’t the only activity responding to Hurricane Ian’s looming threat. Event organizers pushed back Chesterfield’s First Responder Cultural Festival and “CommUnity Cup” to Oct. 29.

Bassard believes that when hosting community-based events, it’s crucial that leaders prioritize community safety.

“We love putting on festivals,” Bassard said. “However, when things come up and we have to make a change, safety is paramount in our mind.”

RVA Big Market and all Richmond Parks and Recreation in-season youth sporting events, including soccer and football, have been canceled for the weekend as well.

Even though the 2nd Street Festival at the Jackson Ward can’t operate as planned, leaders are rolling with the punches and hosting a modified, indoor version of the event on Saturday night. Bassard said this allows the community to still partake in key elements of the festival while remaining safe.

“Just to see everybody hugging and this is celebratory time, that’s the enjoyment,” Bassard said.

For more information on the modified event, visit here.