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For the first time in its 62-year history, Schmeckfest will not go on as scheduled — but organizers are still making planning to hold the popular festival in Freeman. 

Officials from Freeman Academy, the school that hosts Schmeckfest, announced Friday morning, March 13 that they have decided to postpone the “festival of tasting” amid increasing concerns about coronavirus, which causes the illness known as COVID-19.

Rescheduled dates have not been determined.

“Tentative dates have been discussed and will be announced as we hear official updates regarding COVID-19,” Nathan Epp, Freeman Academy Head of School, said in a statement issued Friday morning. “This has been a difficult decision; however, we cannot risk the safety of our students, faculty, volunteers, community and Schmeckfest visitors. We also feel a personal responsibility to help stop the spread of this contagious virus.”

More details are to come, including how to transfer Schmeckfest meal and musical tickets already purchased to the new dates. Watch this site — as well as next week’s print edition — for more details as the become available. 

While Schmeckfest has been postponed, Schmeckfest sausage will still be processed in March as planned. The retail sales counter for smoked and unsmoked fresh sausage will be open March 20, 21, 27, and 28 from 1 to 6 p.m. at the maintenance building on the Freeman Academy campus. Remaining sausage will be frozen and available for sale at the postponed Schmeckfest event. Due to difficult circumstances, sausage supplies are reduced 40 percent from last year.