Blueberry Festival in the Red
With a day and a half left, organizers hope to reopen the Blueberry Festival and recover from revenue lost during the shutdown.
“In 2004 we had a lot of rain and it was very impactful to what we were trying to do,” Plymouth Mayor Mark Senter said. “…And the blueberry festival lost a lot of money that year.”
According to the Mayor it took years for the fest and the city to recover from that lost, and now just as they were getting out of the red, the weather may have pushed them right back into the red.
This year, weather has been a big problem all weekend. On Friday, Marshall County was under a heat advisory with temperatures hitting as high as 95 degrees, keeping people indoors and away from the festival.
“Saturday it was still hot, and then we know what happened that night with the weather,” Senter said.
Storms caused organizers to shut down early and clear Centennial Park in Plymouth, canceling the festival’s headliner and disappointing a lot of people.
“I don’t think people in general care, unless the officials shut it down, they’d be here,” Rey Mireles said many people thought it was unnecessary to close the festival Saturday night, they wanted to stay for the concert.
Mayor Senter said organizers wanted to be safe, not sorry…“They were very cautious about it, you know what’s happened in the past especially the Indiana State fair this past year,” Senter said.
In all 42 years of the Blueberry Festival, it’s never been shut down or evacuated, Mirceles said, “No, never.”
And this could mean a lot less money for the city and the festival, “There are a lot of people that had to leave,” Senter said. “But you know, that’s okay because safety comes first.”
The mayor said they will not know the true economic impact of the festival for a couple of weeks, but says if the weather holds out until Monday afternoon, they should be able to recover without too much of a loss.