There will likely always be disagreement on the venue, but it's hard to disagree with the agreement between Warren Main Street (Warren Business District Coalition) and the Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry for the latter to take the lead in organizing this year's Ribfest.
Essentially, while overseen by Main Street and GRO-Warren over the past couple years, Ribfest hasn't really been a "Main Street" event. It was originally moved to Betts Park because Pennsylvania and Second avenues downtown were under reconstruction for Streetscape.
Although Streetscape is essentially done - and more inviting to pedestrian traffic than its former incarnation - Ribfest remains in the cool shade along the Allegheny River. It's not an unpleasant place to spend a day or an evening enjoying the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of a culinary festival.
Even when Ribfest was on "Main Street," it was not without its logistical problems, and some permanent merchants in the vicinity had complained that their carriage trade was interrupted.
Betts provides plenty of room for people to spread out and relax on the grass. It also provides plenty of room for expansion.
With the security of this year's festival provided by the WCCBI's financial and personnel assets, there is an opportunity to contemplate the future of the festival in a positive light, a light that was fading quickly prior to last week's announcement.
There is room to grow at Betts, and a stable organizational structure may very well find the opportunity to make a great festival even bigger in the coming years.