Troy, MI -- The 41-year old Troy Daze Festival will not be held this year due to budget constraints. The festival has entertained residents since 1968, growing to an estimated attendance of 100,000 people.
Arnold Amusements has provided the midway for many years, even bringing in two units for the 2009 festival. The side by side Ferris Wheels presented by the show were an impressive sight.
The 4 day event has been the home of beauty pageants, battles of the bands, rotten sneaker contests, parades, marching bands, and many other traditional youth activities.
Even though it is an affluent Detroit suburb, Troy is not without it's economic woes. The loss of companies such as K-Mart, Arbor Drugs and Franks Nursery And Crafts, coupled with declining home values, has resulted in the city running a $6 million budget deficit.
Despite a volunteer board and 300-500 other volunteer workers, revenue was not expected to meet expenses for the event. At issue is approximately $100,000 in non-reimbursed city expenses, including Police, Parks and Recreation, and DPW overtime.
Still, the City is optimistic of a return for the event. "Troy Daze has been successful due to the volunteers, police department, DPW, Community Affairs and vendors all working so well together. Remove one of those pieces and the puzzle is not complete. The community has made this fair what it is today because our hearts are in our work. Some random, private company could never replace that." said committee member Alison Miller.
"We would love to see this amazing event return, but it will be difficult to resolve this issue when city employees are being laid off and staples in the community like the library and nature center are being closed."
This is not the event's first cancellation. In 2001, the event was canceled after the September 11th attacks. In 2004, it was reduced to one day because of torrential storms.
Neither is Troy alone in seeing the impact of budget cuts on events. About 10 miles away, the Michigan State Fairgrounds is also slated to be empty this Labor Day despite efforts to rescue the event. Other nearby communities, such as Southfield, MI, won't be holding their traditional fireworks displays.