(Record (Stockton, CA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) June 10--STOCKTON -- Rising costs from the city and back-to-back years of falling attendance have conspired to kill the 29-year-old Stockton Asparagus Festival.
The 10-member board voted unanimously Tuesday to dissolve operations. There will be no 30th anniversary of the city's signature event.
"Without any fault of their own, they faced circumstances way beyond their control," said Andy Prokop, president and chief executive officer of United Way of San Joaquin ?.? "?T?hat caused them to make one of the most difficult decisions they could make, which is to discontinue their service to our community's most needy."
The festival has experienced a sharp dropoff in attendance the ?p?ast two years. After attracting 104,000 visitors in 2012, the turnout declined to 75,000 last year and 55,000 this year -- a ?nearly ?50 percent drop.
But festival organizers might have ?been able to absorb even that if not for bankruptcy at Stockton City Hall and a renegotiated contract that calls for an increasing reimbursement for city services.
Read Wednesday's Record for more on this story from staff writer Kevin Parrish.
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