The future of Corn Fest is wide open.
Revitalization of Youngsville (ROY) will be holding a community-wide open meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 5, to discuss this year's festival, and possibly the event's place in the borough's future.
According to a ROY press release, Youngsville Borough's annual A-Maize-ing Corn Fest, faces disruption this summer due to upcoming revitalization work on Railroad Street, and the group wants the community's input on what to do about it.
Times Observer file photo
Youngsville residents gather for a community photo as they promote last year’s Annual Corn Fest. Plans for this year’s festival are up in the air because of planned construction in the downtown area.
"That (Railroad Street) is a major entrance and exit into downtown Youngsville," John Shaughnesy of ROY said. "We don't know if it will affect us, but we're assuming it will."
With work beginning downtown in coming months, ROY expects it to stretch through August when the festival is usually held.
Shaughnesy said the possibility of holding the event elsewhere, possibly at Island Park, has come up in the past, but organizers have been hesitant to pursue the idea.
"That's something we've talked about," Shaughnesy said. "We've never done it there because part of the reason we hold Corn Fest is to help drum up business for the downtown. It could come up, and if there's enough support, it's a possibility."
Shaughnesy said organizers worry holding the event elsewhere, with its accompanying food vendors, could discourage attendees from visiting downtown Youngsville.
Shaughnesy said canceling the event for a year is an option, but worried it would be difficult to start back up.
"One of the problems with a thing like this, with any event really, is that once you get some momentum, then you drop it, it's tough to get that going again," according to Shaughnesy.
He noted future festivals will also be dependent on the situation from year-to-year and whether revitalization work was still happening downtown.
According to ROY's meeting announcement, as many local residents as possible are encouraged to attend the Feb. 5 meeting, which will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Youngsville Borough Building on Railroad Street.
"All residents of Youngsville Borough and Brokenstraw Township are invited to participate in this open meeting," according to a press release. "All offers to help ROY with 2013 Corn Fest will be accepted."
"The more people we get at this meeting, the broader the vision about what should happen can be," Shaughnesy said. "We welcome any offers of help we can get."