DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Oregon District Business Association announced Wednesday that Hauntfest 2020 is canceled due to health and safety concerns.
Hauntfest, the spooky and watered party of the year in the Oregon District, typically brings in between $ 20,000 and $ 50,000 for the Oregon District Business Association.
This money is used for Oregon District maintenance and marketing materials. ODBA Treasurer Natalie Skilliter says Gem City Shines revenue in 2019 helps the association’s budget stay afloat despite the loss of Hauntfest. Using the funds, they can start planning for an even bigger Hauntfest in 2021.
Fifth Street restaurants and businesses say the cancellation is another disappointment in an already difficult year.
“It is very sad that the situation we find ourselves in has forced us to limit social gatherings,” said Guy Fragmin, owner of 416 Diner.
Although Hauntfest will not be held in any capacity on October 31, the Out on 5th street event will still allow visitors to enjoy the bars and restaurants. However, take-out drinks will be limited in the Oregon District due to DORA guidelines.
“When DORA first launched it was limited on Hauntfest because we usually have a lot of beer opportunities on Hauntfest,” Fragmin explained.
The DORA agreement has been in preparation for two years. In order to encourage sales of beer from the beer wagons during Hauntfest, the DORA would be limited. Now that Hauntfest is canceled, drinks will be limited to the extensive terraces of local bars. ODBA Treasurer Natalie Skilliter says this decision was not influenced by COVID or the pandemic.
Skilliter encourages visitors to the Oregon District on Halloween to stay in the holiday spirit, safe and sound.
“People can still come down and dress up. I strongly encourage every costume to have a mask. it’s just a win-win for everyone, ”she shared.