The 99th annual Evansville Fall Festival was schedule to take place from October 5th-10th, but after discussions amongst board members of the West Side Nut Club and local health officials, the river city will stay festival free until 2021.
“The reason for the decision was strictly safety,” said Eddie Dietz, 2020 Fall Festival Chairmen. “Safety for all of our patrons, our non-profit partners, our nut club members, police, fire, EMA, Everybody that’s down here that helps us out this event on. Having that exposure and those types of events taking place, it just wasn’t a good, safe move.”
This is the first time the festival has been cancelled since 1945, and that was due to World War II, and this cancellation of the Evansville Fall Festival is expected to have a negative impact on dozens of non-profits across the tri-state.
“We typically make about $45,000 gross from the fall festival,” said Amanda Cobum, Chief Development Officer of the Vanderburgh County Humane Society. “We will net, easily, over $30,000, so that’s $30,000 missing from our budget. “It could mean that some of our less essential programs get cut, such as volunteer programs, education programs, and things like that.”
The fall festival brings in well-over 10,000 visitors throughout the week, and last year they raised more than a half a million dollars for non-profits.
The West Side Nut Club says that they are still planning to continue to with their half pot, which should allow them to continue to provide a level of financial support to the Evansville community and the non-profits that the festival supports.
And news of the cancellation has local Evansville residents saddened but understanding.
“I think it’s understandable,” said Lily Pease. “It’s certainly a very condensed situation. I know I would’ve had a lot of trouble trying to stay six feet apart from anyone, and it’s really hot, so wearing the masks and stuff, and the food, I think it would just be kind of impractical anyway.”
If you would like to help donate to these non-profits, you can do so by visiting the West Side Nut Club Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/WestSideNutClub/