Piqua Heritage Festival canceled

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PIQUA, Ohio (WDTN) – Labor Day weekend will not be the same for people in Piqua.

The Piqua Heritage Festival board announced Tuesday it can no longer support the annual event.

“It’s been here since I was a little kid,” said Josh Bryant.

For 32 years, the Johnston Farm and Indian Agency has been the site for the annual Piqua Heritage Festival.

The field will be a little quieter come Labor Day.

“That’s crazy,” said Bryant. “Everyone goes to it every year. There’s not a whole lot to do in Piqua.”

The festival board announced Tuesday they would no longer be able to support it.

Chuck McGlaughlin, the general chairman, cited a lack of volunteers, funding, and support will have this gate closed for the festival.

“You just hate to start cutting back and making big dents in it because it’s been such a success that way it has ran,” said McGlaughlin.

It takes about 2,000 volunteers and $90,000 to run the three-day festival. McGlaughlin said neither were attained the last few years.

The day after the board’s announcement, support started coming in on social media sites like Facebook to raise money and to get volunteers to help.

More than a thousand members joined by Wednesday hoping to bring the festival back.

But McGlaughlin said any festival they might be able to put on would never live up to the past.

“In my personal opinion, the festival as it existed before Monday, I don’t think we could save it,” said McGlaughlin. “You may be able to put one on for another year. But after that year, people are going to see such a drastic cut that they’re not going to want to patronize it the following year.”

If it is truly gone, some in Piqua will at least have something good to look back on.

“The memories,” said Bryant. “I’ve been to it for the most part every year to get some kettle corn.”

A spokesperson for Johnston Farm and Indian Agency said the site is focusing on their other events for the year. No decision had been made for a new event on Labor Day.

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