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Chester VFD Fall Bash postponed due to pandemic

CHESTER — The Chester Volunteer Fire Department will not be holding its annual Fall Bash this year, according to an announcement made by the department Monday on social media.

After consulting with the management of Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort, the Hancock County Health Department and several volunteer organizations that assist with the event, the fire department said on Facebook it will postpone the Fall Bash until Sept. 17-18, 2021 due to ongoing concerns over COVID-19 and the general safety of the more than 7,000 guests that attend the annual fire department fundraiser.

“This would have been our 20th year for the bash and is one of the hardest decisions we have had to make,” said CVFD Chief John Hissam. “This is the main source of funding for the fire department and all the events we host for the community.

“Over the past 19 years we have given away over $30 million in cash and prizes to our Bash guests and hundreds of thousands of dollars to local youth and school organizations that help us during the event. The proceeds help us buy equipment and provide training to our firefighters. All excess funds go to community events like our 4th of July festivities, Hometown Christmas, Concerts in the Park, and various other events throughout the year. This really hurts everyone.”

Guests who already purchased tickets to this year’s Fall Bash can use them for next year’s event and they do not have to be present to win. Anyone who already purchased tickets and anyone that purchases tickets before Sept. 18 of this year will be automatically entered into a special $5,000 prize drawing for Friday ticket holders and a $10,000 special prize drawing for Saturday ticket holders as part of 2021 Fall Bash.

This year’s Bash is 70 percent sold out and no additional tickets will be available next year, so organizers said guests are encouraged to get their tickets now.

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