BEAVERCREEK — For the first time in the history of the Beavercreek Popcorn Festival, stormy weather caused the event to close for the Sept. 8-9 weekend.
The festival will not be rescheduled. The car show will be rescheduled at a later date.
Runners and walkers opened the weekend Saturday morning with the 5K. Vendors set up their booths and some community members ventured into the rain for their favorite popcorn. But around 3 p.m., after receiving advice from the Beavercreek Fire Department, the festival committee made the decision to cancel the rest of the event.
“They said it was the remnants of the hurricane coming through,” Scott Hadley, committee president, said. “The wind is what bothered us … We didn’t have any lightning, but the elements were such that it could generate lightning, they told us.”
Hadley said the festival had been cut short two other times in its 32-year-history, but had never not re-opened on Sunday.
“It was a sad event for everybody,” Hadley said, adding that he felt especially bad for the vendors.
“Vendors spent time and money getting all of their stuff ready. There’s no way to recoup that,” he said. “With this being the largest festival in Greene County, a lot of people are disappointed.”
Despite the disappointment across all parties, Hadley said he thought the committee made the right decision in what could have become a dangerous situation.
The let-down was monetary for the committee, too, Hadley reported, due to the closure and also the fact that the group is still working to replace its main power source.
Two years ago, an uninsured driver crashed into the main electrical system, destroying it. That one was finally repaired last week before the festival, costing $35,000, not counting the more than $50,000 needed for additional pedestals that hook up to it.
“We have spent everything that we have to spend,” he said. “Our costs are elevated right now. We normally give back to various organizations in the community, but this year is going to be dry.”
Hadley said the committee is looking for a major donor to help with the costs, in exchange for advertising at the festival.
Community members can also donate online to “Restore the Power” at www.beavercreekpopcornfestival.org or by mailing a donation to City of Beavercreek Parks Department: Beavercreek Popcorn Festival, 789 Orchard Lane.
“We appreciate the support we’ve had in the past and we will appreciate any support we get in the future,” Hadley said, “and we’re very sorry we let [the community] down this year.”