I was very surprised and disappointed to read in the “Springfield Sun”, Sept. 30, 2009 edition, that the county denied the request from the Chamber of Commerce to continue their annual funding of $5000.
My husband and I worked in the Chamber of Commerce booth on Saturday morning of the Festival and had numerous people from out of town stop in to talk. Most had ties in the county from way back and looked forward to our Festival each year for a chance to visit with family and friends.
I believe the Fall Festival is our biggest annual tourism draw. Our local restaurants were busy, the food booths were busy and the vendors were doing good business.
I do understand the need to spend money wisely, but I believe this is a wise use for this money. It was available and in the budget for such purpose.
I want to commend the Washington County Chamber of Commerce on a great Kentucky Crossroads Harvest Festival. I was glad to see the festival grow this year with the addition of the Jim Beam BBQ Classic Cookoff. Bringing the cookoff to Springfield was no easy task, and could not be possible without sponsorship.
The music was great all weekend, and again, could not be possible without the great willing sponsorships we have. I guess that’s why I was so shocked and embarrassed when I read in The Springfield Sun where Judge Settles and elected officials, all but Benjamin Settles, decided not to support our festival this year, despite having the funds to do so.
Even without the needed support from our fiscal court, the chamber of commerce once again put on a festival our whole community can be proud of.
Terry & Sherry Smith
My husband Ken and I recently moved to Springfield, and our house happens to be a few blocks on from the third annual fall festival site. As we watched the BBQ vendors set up on Friday, we were really looking forward to actually eating the BBQ, and we assumed that the BBQ would be available on Saturday before, during and/or after the Jim Beam-sponsored BBQ contest.
But alas, no. None of it was even available by 4:30 p.m., and yet the contest was held at 4 p.m.! By 4:40 p.m., all the BBQ contestants had packed up and gone. We were so disappointed that we could neither buy it nor sample it. I did hear someone mention on Friday that he did not think the general public would be able to eat any of it. But I found that hard to believe as BBQ was promoted heavily.
Next year, why not organize this festival around the selling, sampling and buying of all things BBQ? I found myself thinking, ‘What’s the point of having a Festival with a BBQ contest if very few people, if any people, get a chance to taste it or buy it?’
I would love to help the festival organizers expand on a great idea - the BBQ contest - and actually sell BBQ ribs, pulled pork and other BBQ-related food and accessories next year. Maybe bring in a local blues or bluegrass band, too. Let’s make the Festival and BBQ contest more fun and more profitable next year and in the years to come.