Keeping you safe.

In response to the emerging Omicron variant of COVID-19 and in consultation with our partners at Washington National Cathedral, Washington Ringing Society, and the Old Post Office Tower, we have made the difficult decision to cancel all change ringing events at the 2022 National Bell Festival.

Change ringing requires 10 ringers to toil in tandem at close quarters inside a bell tower for hours at a time – not ideal conditions for inhibiting the spread of the coronavirus. Instead, we invite you to explore our full line-up of carillon recitals, streaming events, and other bell ringing opportunities this New Year’s Day.

Working together for a healthy New Year

We’re closely following guidelines established by regional authorities to keep you and your family safe during your BellFest experience on New Year's Day. This includes streaming events online and only coming together in person at open and well-ventilated outdoor areas. Your wellness is our first priority.

  • We ask that you maintain social distancing to keep at least 6 feet apart from other groups and those not in your household.
  • All festivalgoers are asked to wear a mask when near others, inside structures, or moving around. Please bring your own mask and follow all applicable city, county, and state guidelines.
  • It may be chilly in your area on New Year’s Day. Bundle up! Wear warm and comfortable attire.
  • Walking paths and grassy lawns may be slippery or uneven, so please use caution when finding that perfect place to cozy-up and listen to the bells. 

An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, senior citizens and anyone with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable.

By attending an event hosted by the National Bell Festival, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19. You are also affirming that you are healthy and have not exhibited any symptoms of COVID-19 in the 14 days before the event. Symptoms include fever (100.4 degrees or higher), cough, shortness of breath, chills, nausea, diarrhea, loss of taste, sore throat, or muscle aches. If you feel sick, are exhibiting one or more of these symptoms, or have any signs of illness, please stay home.

Similarly, if you are at higher risk for severe illness, or are in any way uncomfortable venturing out where groups of people may be present, please stay home. You can always tune-in to BellFest experiences streamed online!