After almost 50 years of celebrations the Lakefest event will take a vacation of its own this year but only not because the city can't afford it, according to City Clerk Kim Weston.
Weston said that the vote was not unanimous and discussion was animated at times. She explained that Dr. Monin has opted to continue the car show, even without the rest of the event.
Mayor Brooks Bates said the problem this year sprang from the construction on the square, where Lakefest has always been held.
He added that the decision did have a financial component but the larger question was location.
"As far as I am aware it was a problem of not being able to handle the traffic around the square," Bates said.
Weston explained that the closure of Pike Alley meant that traffic needing to go East from downtown would have been a problem, and all traffic going to Jamestown Marina would have to have been routed through roads and allies around the south side of the square only.
"There are a lot of reasons it was canceled," Weston added.
She said another issue was the cost of supplying the city employees, who provided the bulk of the labor and all of the security for the Independence Day event.
One of the biggeste issues though was simply that City Hall has moved. That move removed the power source for the stage area of the event, and that meant things would have to move around the square. Weston said that move to another quarter of the square would mean that what ever had been in that quarter, likely the food vendors, would not be available to rent to those vendors.
Other locations, like the city park, were considered, Weston said.
Everywhere we turned there were problems, Weston said.
She said that after over 40 years the event would not be held this year, but she expected that the event would return next year.
"The Lakefest Committee is continuing to meet-we're not willing to let this die," Weston said.