Arvada Harvest Festival cancelled after permit snafu

Carnival and midway denied from special events permit, parade approved

Ryan Dunn
rdunn@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 8/24/21

In advance of the 96th anniversary of the Arvada Harvest Festival, the city of Arvada recently announced it was denying the carnival and midway components of the special events permit application. …

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Arvada Harvest Festival cancelled after permit snafu

Carnival and midway denied from special events permit, parade approved

Posted
The 96th anniversary of the Arvada Harvest Festival has been canceled.
 
The city announced on Aug. 19 that it was denying the carnival and midway components of the special events permit application. The city still approved the festival’s application for the parade.
Festival organizers announced days later that without the carnival and midway, the event was no longer feasible for 2021. 
 
The Arvada Harvest Festival dates back to Oct. 1925 and has primarily been hosted by the Arvada Jaycees and the Arvada Junior Chamber Foundation with the support of the city. The festival was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
This year’s Harvest Festival was scheduled for Sept. 11, but festival organizers were faced with a dilemma after the city’s permit denial because the carnival and midway game and food booths are typically key revenue streams for the festival, according to Rick Nelson, Harvest Festival executive committee member.
 
“There really are no words to describe the devastation and the disappointment, not just on behalf of the Festival Committee chairman, but also for the public,” said Nelson. “We’re at a complete loss for words.”
 
Harvest Festival executive committee Chairperson Renee Nelson said that she was notified by Arvada Community and Economic Development Director Ryan Stachelski of the denial of the midway and carnival and called an emergency meeting of the committee on the evening of Aug. 19 to determine if the event could be salvaged.
 
Renee said that by Aug. 24, the committee was facing hard deadlines with vendors and sponsors concerning contracts that had been signed for the event’s infrastructure, including golf carts, tents and stages. At that point, the committee determined that without the revenue of the carnival and midway, there was no way to move forward.
 
Moving Forward
 
According to a press release put out by the city on Aug. 25, the city and the planning committee are “now focused on supporting a successful 2022 event.”
 
“This is an important and historic event for our community,” said Community and Economic Development Director Ryan Stachelski. “Although current conditions in the Olde Town area make it challenging to hold the event in its traditional format, we are eager to work with the Harvest Festival Committee to find alternatives to support a safe and enjoyable festival in 2022.”
 
While the Harvest Festival Committee members say they are dubious of the city’s motivation to help, Renee said the committee has their sights set on bringing the Harvest Festival back in 2022 and urged community members to get involved.
 
“We’re planning on (returning in 2022),” said Renee. “Check out our website, we have some things that are coming forward. We’re going to be coming to City Council. Anyone who wants to help save the Arvada Harvest Festival, we’re 100% ready to make sure that next year’s event is the biggest and best ever, but we need the community behind us.”
 
The Arvada Harvest Festival’s website can be found at arvadaharvestfestivalparade.com.

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