ROCKLAND  — The Maine Lobster Festival, which celebrates the state’s most beloved export, will not take place in 2020 because of fears about the coronavirus.

Organizers of the event said Tuesday they were “deeply disappointed” to have to shutter the event but ultimately determined the closure was unavoidable. The event draws thousands of people to coastal Rockland every summer.

Author David Foster Wallace featured the festival in a magazine article that later became the title essay in his nonfiction collection “Consider The Lobster.” It’s popular because of lobster dinners and events such as the Maine Sea Goddess Pageant.

“We will miss seeing our tens of thousands of guests, our thousand plus volunteers, our artists, vendors and business partners, and all of our local neighbors,” organizers said in a Facebook post.

The state has had more than 1,000 cases of the virus and 51 deaths.

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