The few tenacious board members who remain commited to Warren Main Street/Warren Business District Coalition have been dedicated to bringing the binomial organization out of the ashes of the GRO-Warren debacle and returning it to at least what it was before its successor came along and twisted the whole thing into a mess.
But, tenacity alone won't guarantee success. Sometimes the sheer weight of obstructions are too much to overcome.
It is beginning to look like Main Street's organization of this summer's Ribfest is so overburdened by debt and the residue from the festival's former managers that the popular local event could be in doubt.
The cancellation of Ribfest this year would be extremely disappointing on a number of levels. The most immediate disappointment would be the empty spot on the local entertainment calendar. But, the experience of other areas which have watched festivals disappear forever after long-term success portends a doubtful future beyond this year. The professional ribbers, who are the bones (pardon the adjective) of the eventy set their schedules months ahead for summer months, their most profitable season.
Apparently all of the ribbers who plied their wares last year have already paid their deposits for this year. Sending those deposits back would send them a message they don't want to hear: We can't guarantee you a venue this year. That message could make them wonder if choosing an alternative invitation next year might be in their best interest.
Since its first incarnation at the former Island Parking lot where now lovely but largely empty townhouses stand, Ribfest has been a major attraction for Warren County. For the past three years it hasn't been in downtown Warren, but in the pastoral Betts Park.
We believe it would be in the best interest of the festival and the county for some better established entity road on the scene to pull the fat out of the fire before it's too late.
Are you listening, Council on Tourism, Warren County Vacation Bureau and Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry?