No Harvest Festival this year; new and improved planned for ’18.

March 3, 2017

ra-festival5No Harvest Festival this year; new and improved planned for ’18.

#MasonCountyNews.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

SCOTTVILLE — There will not be a Harvest Festival this year. Instead, the festival’s executive committee has decided to take an extra year, regroup, and plan a higher quality festival for September, 2018. The decision is a result of some changes in leadership, lack of volunteers, and also a need to reorganize.

The festival has been overseen by various groups over the past several years, Initially, it was sponsored by the Scottville Chamber of Commerce. When that organization was merged with the Ludington Chamber of Commerce, to become the Ludington and Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce, the joint chamber ran the festival. Three years ago, the chamber turned over the festival to city’s Main Street Program (Downtown Development Authority).

Following the 2016 festival, the city made the decision to no longer be the fiduciary agent for the festival and let it be an autonomous event. A seven person executive committee made the decision to cancel this year’s festival.

“We want to come back with a new festival that meets the entertainment needs of today’s society,” said committee member Jamie Healy. “We decided as an executive committee that we want the community to be on board with this and understand why we are doing it. When it comes back in 2018, it’s not going to be the same festival. It needs to change with the times and we just don’t have enough time, money, or volunteers to do it right this year.”

The committee’s goal is to form a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, which requires money.

“The city took a loss during the 2016 festival and we have no money,” Healy said. “We want to hold some fund raising events this year but there will be no festival.”

While the tradition of the Harvest Festival goes back to the early part of the 20th century, this year’s festival would have been the 70th consecutive festival.

Those who wish to get involved should contact the festival committee through its Facebook page.

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