The City of Ottawa
has decided that 2019 Riverfest activities will be scaled back to still offer
the parade, Jackson Streets events, Art in the Park, and other events, but will
not include the Taste of Ottawa food and music event.
In recent years attendance and revenues have declined, resulting in the question of whether the cost of the Taste outweighs the benefit of the event.
According to Mayor Bob Eschbach, even though the 2018 Taste event offered great musical entertainment and good weather, attendance was disappointing. “It may be that the event has run its course– or needs to be reinvented. The idea is to take a year off and use that time to work on new ideas and then decide if the Taste will be resurrected in some form in 2020,” said Eschbach.
Eschbach noted that the businesses and volunteers who have worked the Taste over the years have done an incredible job. He stated that when the Taste first began it was the City’s only major festival of the year – lasting five days. At the time it was about the only annual festival. Now there are now many other events throughout the year.
The Mayor encourages everyone to enjoy the other 2019 events, such as the Morel Fest, Starved Rock Country Brew Fest, Wine and Jazz Fest, The Ottawa First 4th of July Celebration, the Music in the Park series, Scarecrow Fest and the Chris Kringle Market. This year a new October Fest is also in the planning stages.