For Immediate Release: (4/30/13) ~ The Paulding Chamber of Commerce will be running the Flat Rock Creek Festival September 20th ~22nd. Founders of the fall festival Bill and Patty Vance are stepping down after 21 years of service to our county. Executive Director of the Paulding Chamber, Erika Willitzer says it’s hard to measure up what the Vance’s have accomplished for our county. Countless non-profit groups have reaped the benefits of the well-attended festival by selling food or other goods. In return, those groups use the funds for their specific causes. It’s truly amazing and admirable what they have done for our rural community, added Willitzer.
The Paulding Chamber of Commerce Board understands that residents might have reservations over another group administering the festival, but we want the public to know that we’re not taking this new role lightly and we intend to run it with same integrity the Vance’s have done for so many years.
One of the toughest hurdles the festival has to face is financials. While many might perceive this fall festival as having an abundance of funds, the fact is the festival takes a lot of money to put on each year. Just last year the festival had expenses of roughly $56,000. One expense example is the horse pulls. They cost anywhere from $7,000 to $10,000 each year. Meanwhile, the festival only has around $28,000.00 currently in its bank account for operational costs. The festival depends on gate and vendor fees each year to cover the rest of the expenses. If a rainout or low attendance occurs this could be detrimental to the festival continuing for years to come.
The Chamber Board is aiming to make the festival financially sound and we’re working hard at this because we know how much it truly means to people. “It’s more than a festival, it’s a place where families reunite and old friends catch up on old times. It’s a reflection of the past and a renewed spirit for the future,” said Willitzer.
In order to cover expenses, the Paulding Chamber Board has decided to ask for corporate sponsorships, raise camping fees to $15 per night, and ask that flea & craft vendors pay an electric fee of $15.00 extra for the entire weekend. All other vendor fees will remain the same. Every food vendor will be treated equally and will pay 10 % of their net profits and that contribution to the festival is the same as last year. We’re hoping by making small changes, we’ll be able to cover the cost and have an operational budget that covers all of expenses in 2014.
So what will you find when you attend the Flat Rock Creek Festival this year? You’ll be getting the same spirited experience, you’ve grown to love over the years. All the entertainment has been booked and your favorites will be returning. “Spike and Bulldogs” , Spittin Image, Stockdale Band and more will all be back to set the mood at the festival, and when it comes to exhibitors, the tractor pulls and horse pulls are also confirmed to attend.
The Paulding Chamber Board encourages questions and you can always contact Executive Director, Erika Willitzer via email: PauldingChamber@Gmail.com. The Chamber Board looks forward to taking on the festival and we hope the public understands that this is our first year managing the festival, so a little patience and understanding would be greatly appreciated by all the vendors, campers, and attendees that have made Flat Rock Creek Festival a tradition for years.
You may also talk to any Paulding Chamber Board Member: Officers~ President, Marsha Yeutter(Paulding Senior Ctr), Vice President, Tyson Mowery, (Sarah Mowery, DDS), Financial Director, Dianne Jones (State Bank & Trust), Secretary, Sonya Herber (United Way of Paulding County), Board of Directors ~ Brenda Wieland (Paulding County Hospital), Harvey Hyman (Hyman & Hyman Law Firm), Ruben Gill (Ruben Gill Insurance), Reta Ptak (Rip It Fit Studio), Mayor Greg White (Village of Paulding), Susan Pieper (Paulding County Carnegie Library), Anne Thomas (Returned To You Collection Agency), Cassie Jo Arend, (Cooper Farms), Kim Tracy (Salvation Army of Paulding County) .