No beer license.
Ribbers' registration not paid in full.
A $5,000 debt from last year.
These are just a few of the reasons that the outlook for Ribfest 2012 seems ominous.
Warren Main Street, also known as the Warren Business District Coalition, is planning Ribfest this year and running into a multitude of problems.
"I am so deeply concerned about the whole thing falling apart - ribbers canceling, no (beer) license, lack of community support - I had a major discussion on Sunday about canceling the entire event," WBDC president Dan Ristau said in an email to the Times Observer on Wednesday.
Ribfest has "lost money for several years. Last year the event lost large bucks," he added.
The $5,000 debt incurred last year is all the more foreboding without a guarantee that the event will be profitable.
"Ribfest is a costly event to hold," Ristau said. "Profit is never guaranteed."
The debt from last year includes $3,000 to the Hometown Heroes Fund run by Shawn Castro, $1,750 for tents and $400 for advertising.
While acknowledging that the debt is out there, Main Street doesn't take responsibility, Ristau claimed, because GRO-Warren, a seperate entity, ran the event last year. "They just walked away," he said.
A beer license has also proved to be a stumbling block as the organizers plan the event.
Only non-profits that have a 501(c)(3) federal tax status are eligible for non-profit beer licenses.
WBDC is a 501(c)(4).
In spite of that, there are options, including partnering with another local non-profit, potentially a volunteer fire department which can procur the license that would allow beer sales at Ribfest.
But partnering with a separate entity eats further into the profit margin should there be one. "We will now have to share the profit with any fire department we contract with," Ristau said.
"I am seriously thinking about jumping out of the whole thing. It simply isn't worth any of it," Ristau said.