BELLBROOK, Ohio (WDTN) — Bellbrook’s annual Sugar Maple Festival will not happen again this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Bellbrook is a great community, and it still has a small town feel to it, and the Sugar Maple Festival is one of the staples in the community,” says Annastacia Shupe, the Chairperson for the Sugar Maple Festival.
For something so sweet, COVID has left a bitter taste.
“One of the main attractions is our kettle corn guy, and the girl scouts that sell sugar maple cookies, the sugar maple family that sells their maple syrup in the park,” lists Shupe.
The Sugar Maple Festival has been around since 1978, and is held in Bellbrock Park and on the main streets in the heart of Bellbrook in April. For the second year in a row, organizers made the difficult decision to cancel the event.
“I’m not able to get the permits needed to be able to hold the festival,” details Shupe.
Planning for the festival begins in January. Organizers had to pull the plug because of ongoing state restrictions.
“The festival is public property and in order to do it safely, I have to have the backing of the city and Greene County Public Health,” states Shupe.
The festival usually brings in $15,000-$20,000, pumping that money right back into the community.
“We’re a big fundraiser for our community,” says Shupe. “We give back to the schools, the city, the police, the fire. We give scholarships out to the high school students. We have a teacher of the year. We’ve been honoring a citizen of the year each year, and we’re known for our dog show. And all of the games and activities we have in the park are always free for the kids.”
As finances remain frozen, the festival committee now has its sights on next year to make up for two years lost.
The festival is now slated to happen April 22-24, 2022.