The Red, White and Blue Riverfront Festival, which has been a summer staple in Corvallis for 25 years, has been discontinued.
The Downtown Corvallis Association has put on the event since its September 1992 debut as the Blues and Brews Festival.
Association Executive Director Jennifer Moreland announced Monday that after, “several months of consideration,” the organization's board has decided to no longer hold the festival.
Moreland said that the decision was based on feedback from a recent survey of downtown businesses and a review of resources needed to organize the event. Moreland also noted that association events must fit with the mission of “improving and promoting the economic, aesthetic and vitality of downtown Corvallis.”
“We realize that many people in our community have fond memories of the festival and we feel honored that it has been a part of their lives for so long,” Moreland said. “We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the participants, sponsors and volunteers who made the festival possible over the years.”
Challenges that the association faced over the years were elimination of funding from the city of Corvallis and coming up with the sponsor dollars to pay for the music. The association did not charge admission for the event.
“It got harder to recruit volunteers and harder to collect enough money to put on such a large-scale event,” Moreland said.
Moreland also said that she “looks forward to fulfilling our mission while working with our community partners to bring fresh, new events to downtown Corvallis in the future.”
No word was able on when that might be or what form such new events might take, although Moreland said she “loves what Albany has done with River Rhythms” and likes the concept of events along the river with music that can benefit downtown businesses and restaurants.
Moreland also noted that the association is not getting out of the events business, citing the group's involvement with the spring and fall downtown Corvallis Wine Walks. The spring edition is March 16. The association also participates in the monthly Corvallis Arts Walk by sponsoring a pair of galleries.
“The festival had a long run,” said Curtis Wright, a longtime official with Visit Corvallis, the city's tourism organization. “Good memories of fun times. But times change, and events and attractions need to change, appeal to younger audiences, with different ideas of what some of us thought was ‘the cat’s meow’ nearly three decades ago.”