By LINDSAY SHAFFER
This year, there will be no Summerfest.
Although never a city-funded event, Mayor Eric Keckler said poor attendance has put the kibosh on this year’s summer celebration.
“When I first came into office, we resurrected the Summerfest again and it seemed to go well the first couple of years and then there was just declining attendance every year especially the last two or three years and it took a lot of time and energy from everybody who was involved to put it together,” he said. “There was not a lot of money to start with this year and it didn’t seem to be drawing a lot of interest and it was decided it was time to put it back to bed again and maybe some day it’ll come back.”
Many of the Summerfest plans were decided by a committee of citizens, which was formed when the summer event was called The Glass Festival. Keckler said it is possible the committee will get together to come up with something new, but there is no plan at the moment.
Money also became an issue with the cost of bands and tent rentals alone costing a few thousand dollars.
“You talk about two nights with two or three bands on Friday night and two or three on Saturday, there’s tent rental and all kinds of things that go into it.” Keckler said. “You are talking thousands of dollars in donations and sponsors and things like that.”
For all the work that went into it, it just wasn’t worth it for the group.
“The big thing is you start planning with the committee maybe just before the holidays, so you put six, seven or eight months of planning into it and booking bands and the attendance the last couple of years was disappointing and there were a lot of things going on that particular weekend that was our usual weekend. It just didn’t seem like anybody had the time to come out and enjoy it,” Keckler said.
But Summerfest doesn’t mean the end of summertime fun in Fostoria. There are still activities going on throughout the coming weeks.
The Fostoria Area Visitors Bureau will be offering a free outdoor showing of “Grease” from 9-11 p.m. Thursday on the grassy lot at the corner of South Main Street and East Tiffin Street.
ProMedica Fostoria Community Hospital is offering a free Kids Summer Breakfast Program for youth up to age 18 from 8-10 a.m. every weekday through Aug. 11.
The next Fostoria Farmers’ Market will be Aug. 5 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the corner of South Main Street and East Tiffin Street. Area vendors will be offering a number of baked goods, plants, and other items.
Kaubisch Memorial Public Library is also offering a number of activities for all ages from babies to adults. There are baby lap-time events, early literacy toddler playdates, craft times, storytimes and movie showings including “Sense and Sensibility” and “The LEGO Batman Movie.”
The next Summer Concert Series event will be at 7:30 p.m. July 23 in the Wainwright Amphitheatre in Foundation Park and will feature Dueling Pianos.
Lunch on the Lawn will return July 26 from noon to 1 p.m. in front of the municipal building and feature the musical talents of Craig and Jayne Allen.
First Step will be continuing its Women’s Enrichment Series Aug. 7 from 6-7:30 p.m. with the theme of “Seaside Stamping.” It is $18 to participate and includes making three greeting and invitation-sized cards with a seaside theme, stories of summer vacations by the shore and food.
Latino Fest is still scheduled to take place in August as well.
For a full list of local events, visit the Fostoria Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Bureau Community Calendar at http://www.fostoriaohio.org/visitors/calendar/.