No Pumpkindaze for 2022 says Salem Lakes Village Board

A view of the vendor/craft sale area in the Salem Lakes Public Works Building in 2016. /westofthei.com file photo

There won’t be a Salem Lakes Pumpkindaze festival for 2022 and maybe beyond.

Four of the Salem Lakes Village Board members at a committee of the whole meeting last week were in favor of dropping the festival. The remaining three were in favor of dropping the festival for at least this year and considering bringing it back in the future, perhaps after some reconsidering what the event should include or when it takes place.

Pumpkindaze, taking place in October, was started in 2012. Trustee Mike Culat had suggested hosting a community volleyball tournament, but that blossomed into an all-day-into-the-evening event featuring vendor booths, a talent show, kids activities, food vendors and live music at night. The event was held at the Public Works/Fire Station No. 1 facility in Trevor.

In recent years, the event has seen smaller crowds. In 2020, the event was not held due to COVID-19 concerns. Last year, vendor fair interest dropped drastically and the event focused around a musical act in the evening and drew the smallest crowd yet.

“We had really low attendance last year,” said village President Diann Tesar. “I mean there was COVID, but nothings going to be different this year.”

Tesar also pointed out the festival at one time paid for itself or nearly so, but that hasn’t been the case in the last few years.

“I think it was a great event when it first started,” Tesar said. “I think it’s fizzled.”

Some board members wanted to see the village Park Commission take charge of the event.

“To me it’s a park commission thing,” Culat said.

Village administrator Michael Murdock said the event has always been organized and largely run by village staff.

“It was never run by the Park Commission,” Murdock said. “There’s only so much those five can do.”

Some board members also suggested a summer event might be better received.

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