The Evarts Tourism Commission has announced the cancellation of the city’s 2016 Labor Day Festival.
This year would have marked the tenth year of the city’s festival, but according to Evarts City Clerk Kristi Lamb the festival will not be taking place.
“The Evarts Tourism Commission has decided to cancel the annual Labor Day Festival this year,” Lamb said. “This is due to a lack of vendors, musicians and activities for the festival. We hope to continue giving back to our community with other events throughout the year.”
According to Lamb, the first Evarts Labor Day Festival took place in 2007.
“We typically have between 20 and 26 vendors for food and crafts and different things,” Lamb said. “We always have the Shriner’s Train, we try to do inflatables for the kids, we have a steady crowd that comes and goes all day.”
While there have been no numbers kept on how many may have attended the festival, Lamb said the event has drawn a sizable crowd in past years.
“It has always been a steady crowd of people,” Lamb said. “We have noticed the last couple of years, the number of vendors has slacked down, the number of people coming has gone down and we did shorten the length of the festival.”
Lamb said when the festival started, it ran from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and later the time was increased from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. for a couple of years.
“It got to where we shortened it to noon until 8 p.m.,” Lamb explained. “It seems like the past couple years the crowd has dwindled down.”
Lamb said another problem with this years’ festival involved procuring entertainment.
“This year, we had one band we were able to book,” Lamb said. “That’s the only musicians we had to come forward after reaching out to several. No one would commit to it.”
There was also a problem with vendors.
“We’ve had a couple vendors to reach out to us, but we only had one turn their application in and say ‘Yes, I will be there,’” Lamb said. “We did have several that called and said they would come in, but no one actually came in.”
Lamb said this is not necessarily the end of the festival.
“We decided this year we’re going to give it a break,” Lamb said. “We’d like to hear from our community to find out if they want us to try to have it again next year, or if there’s a different type of event they may want us to try to do next year.”
Anybody with suggestions concerning the Labor Day Festival or ideas for different events should contact a member of the tourism commission or call the Evarts Tourism Commission at 606-837-0609.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-909-4132 or on Twitter @joe_hde