The Bethel Founder’s Day festival scheduled for the weekend of June 25 is officially on hiatus. Bethel Log Cabin Committee Chair Ron Shouse said that this year’s event has been cancelled, but that it may return in the future. Shouse said the group struggled to secure sponsorships for this year’s event.
The festival began in 2007 as a way for the committee to give back to the community while raising funds for renovations to the historic Accord and blacksmith cabins in Burke Park.
“It’s a free event for the community and that means we had to spend money to bring in people like the Cincinnati Zoo and Raptors Inc and live music,” Shouse said. “We want to be good stewards of the money we’ve obtained and we didn’t feel spending those funds to fund the event would do that.”
"We felt it's worse for them right now because people are going out of their way to get cheaper things at the box stores and they don't want to support the local businesses," Shouse said.
The group has been able to raise some funds toward renovating the cabins, but Shouse said they are currently working on securing enough funds through a private donation that will allow them to renovate the outside of the Accord cabin. The project is moving slowly in part because the cabins are located in a publicly owned park.
"Right now we're working on some agreements with the mayor and council," Shouse said. "There's so much more red tape when working with government entities, but I'm excited that this year we're going to make a lot of progress."
Shouse said the decision to cancel the festival was not made lightly and the committee debated until about a month before the meeting.