The weather took a toll on a planned weekend of festivals recently in Wyandotte County.
With temperatures around 50 degrees, cool and rainy, on Saturday, May 4, there weren’t as many people out as might have been to enjoy the Polski Day and Marble Day parades, plus the Ag Hall’s tractor cruise. And the Cinco de Mayo event was canceled because of the weather. On Friday evening, May 3, there was light snow, one of the latest snows anyone can remember. The Cinco de Mayo event in downtown Kansas City, Kan., will be rescheduled later, according to organizers.
There are some days in the spring and fall when events are scheduled all around Wyandotte County, and this was one of them.
The number of other events going on at the same time has caused organizers of a 35-year-old festival to reconsider whether it should be held.
The Grinter Applefest, held since 1977 on a fall weekend, will not continue this year, according to Lou Braswell, president of the Grinter Place Friends. The group helps to promote interest and raise funds for the Grinter Place Museum, the restored home of an early settler.
“Years ago, when Applefest first started at Grinter, you had to walk a couple blocks because of parking, the grounds were all completely covered and it might take you two days before you could visit every booth,” she remembered.
"The attendance has been going down, fundraising has been going down, it’s just so many of them that go on every weekend, vendors are scheduled way ahead of time or have bigger events that they prefer to go to,” Braswell said.
“It seems that there’s a festival on every corner, and there’s so much competition. so we figured it was time to try to do something differently,” she said.
The Grinter Place Friends board has voted to hold a bluegrass festival in the spring of 2014 instead of the fall Applefest, and will be looking at other types of fundraisers as well, she said.
Last year the Applefest had to plan around Tiblow Days, and there was an event the same day at Kaw Point last year, she said.
“You can just compete with so many of them, and none are getting the business you should get because you just have too much competition,” she said.
She added that because of declining attendance, the board has been discussing this issue of discontinuing the Applefest for more than four years.
Braswell said she hopes the Grinter Place Friends will approve some other new events that don’t have much competition around here.
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