By Stephanie Dolan
Despite Town of Avon 2020 budget cuts, and the Avon Chamber of Commerce of Commerce’s Ribfest being one of the cuts, 2020 plans for the popular summer event are moving forward.
“Historically the town has given us $11,000 for the event via their grant program,” Tom Downard, the chamber’s executive director, said.
In spite of the loss in funds, Downard said that the event will be moving to the Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds next year from its longtime location in Kingsway Christian Church property adjacent to the church.
“Our event has grown to be such that we’re getting even too big for our current location and the fairgrounds makes great sense if we’re going to continue to grow the event and make it bigger,” Downard added.
Downard said that the amenities at the fairgrounds are very conducive to the event and making it even better.
“The Avon Chamber thanks Kingsway Christian Church and all their volunteers for making the event what it is today,” he said. “They’ve been tremendous hosts for us.”
As a result of the budget cuts, the town will be hiring four new police officers. These cuts included the elimination of the community grant program that typically aids in funding the popular annual Ribfest event.
“The council took no pleasure in making the cuts that were necessary to hire additional officers,” council vice president Steve Eisenbarth said in a prepared statement. “It came down to prioritizing public safety over non-essential spending out of our general and EDIT funds. Public safety is one of the most important services the Town of Avon provides its residents.”
Downard hopes that, because of popularity of the event, sponsorship dollars can be increased.
“Now that it’s in the county seat,” he said. “It’ll give us the opportunity to reach out to more folks to sponsor the event and recoup those dollars via sponsorship. And the venue will be bigger and hopefully we’ll sell more ribs.”