Ascension Summer Festival canceled

It has become more difficult to attract volunteers.

The annual Ascension Summer Festival in Kettering will not go on this year because of a lack of volunteers and a desire by organizers to change the event’s image.

“Getting people to build the festival was a struggle,” said Bill Baron, who is a member of the festival committee. He said about 700 people usually worked on the event.

The festival is sponsored by Ascension Catholic Church and usually takes place the week after Father’s Day on the church’s grounds in the 2500 block of Woodman Drive.

Baron said the church also wants to change the image of the event, especially because the church is in a residential area.

“You obviously see people spending money gambling that they should not be spending and people getting more inebriated than they should be,” Baron said.

The festival generates more than $40,000 annually to make it one of the church’s biggest fundraisers. Food, live music, rides and games are part of the celebration.

One local resident said she was disappointed the festival was canceled. Phylis Morris, said she has attended the event for 60 years, and was planning to bring her family to this year.

“My grandkids were looking forward to it,” She said. “It was one of the best festivals in town.”

Parking and noise were also issues for residents, said Morris.

Festival attendees would also occasionally park on neighborhood streets, Morris said.

The church said the festival may return in a few years in a different format.