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Posted: 2:39 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014

Piqua Heritage Festival ending after 32 years

Piqua Heritage Festival
Piqua Heritage Festival Facebook

After 32 years the Piqua Heritage Festival will come to an end, ceasing operations effective for the 2014 festival.

By Breaking News Staff

PIQUA —

Decreased funds and a lack of community volunteers is forcing organizers of the Piqua Heritage Festival to end the Labor Day tradition after 32 years, organizers said Tuesday.

"We would like everyone who enjoyed the festival to know that we did everything we could to save it, and that we are as sad as you are to see it go," said Cindy Hershberger Lillicrap, who was the chairperson of the 2013 festival. "Thank you to everyone who contributed to the festival, whether you donated your time, your money or simply came to enjoy the weekend with us. Your efforts are appreciated."

The Labor Day tradition started in 1981 and was a place for people to learn about local history, explore the area's culture, experience local food offerings and supporting local nonprofit organizations, organizers said.

Roughly 2000 volunteers and $90 thousand were required to run the festival each year. Over the last five years, organizers said, the festival has experienced dwindling attendance numbers.

Operating costs also increased, and budget cuts were made, but festival organizers were not able to salvage the 32-year event, organizers said in a release Tuesday night.

"If love for a festival could make it last forever, the Piqua Heritage Festival would, in fact, last forever," Lillicrap said. "Unfortunately, in the real world it takes money and people which we just don't have enough of anymore."

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