DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Oregon District Business Association announced Wednesday that the 2020 Hauntfest is canceled due to health and safety concerns.
Hauntfest, the spooky boozy party of the year in the Oregon District, usually brings in $20,000 to $50,000 for the Oregon District Business Association.
This money is used for upkeeping the Oregon District and marketing materials. Natalie Skilliter, the ODBA treasurer says revenue from Gem City Shines in 2019 is helping the association’s budget stay afloat despite the loss of Hauntfest. Using the funds, they can begin planning for an even bigger Hauntfest in 2021.
Restaurants and businesses on Fifth Street say the cancellation is another disappointment in an already difficult year.
“It’s very sad that the situation we’re in has required us to limit social gatherings,” said Guy Fragmin, owner of 416 Diner.
Although Hauntfest will not happen in any capacity on October 31, the Out on 5th street event will still allow for visitors to enjoy the bars and restaurants. However, to-go drinks will be limited in the Oregon District because of the DORA agreement guidelines.
“When the DORA was set forth it was limited on Hauntfest because we usually have a lot of opportunities for beer on Hauntfest,” explained Fragmin.
The DORA agreement has been in the works for the last two years. In order to encourage beer sales from beer-wagons during Hauntfest, the DORA would be limited. Now that Hauntfest is canceled, drinks will be restricted to the extended patios of local bars. Natalie Skilliter, ODBA treasurer, says this decision was not influenced by COVID or the pandemic.
Skilliter is encouraging visitors to the Oregon District on Halloween to still get in the spirit of the holiday, safely.
“People can still come down and dress up. I would strongly encourage every costume have a mask. that’s just a win-win for everybody,” she shared.
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