Appomattox, VA - The Historic Appomattox Railroad Festival could be downsizing. The festival committee is considering taking it from a two day event to one day if the town doesn't get any help funding it.
The mayor of Appomattox says the cost of the festival has increased significantly over the years. The town has traditionally paid the cost of all labor and services for the festival, which includes everything from trash pickup to office staff to the electricity.
Ask anyone from Appomattox, what's the biggest annual event in town. The answer is typically the same, whether it's for the family or for business:
"Railroad Festival," said Beth Turner.
"The Railroad Festival is real nice," said Edward Cummings, attends the festival.
Turner owns Country Charm. Her sales festival weekend are impressive.
"It takes everybody and all of our family to pull it together. It's huge," said Turner.
And apparently so is the railroad festival's price tag. The mayor sent a letter to the county that reads: "The total is now over $20,000 and Council does not feel this amount of expenditure can continue." Further down, it states: "The committee is requesting the Board and county consider increasing their contribution."
We reached out to County Chairman Gary Tanner who responded with this: "The county has sent a letter to ask the HARF committee directly to look further into the issue. I personally am in support of keeping the festival a two day event. We want to help if we can and hope to return with a dollar figure to keep the show on the road. "
"My hope is that the Railroad Festival stays the same, that it doesn't get cut back. I think it would be a shame to cut it back," said Edward Cummings, attends the festival.
Turner, on the other hand, wouldn't mind the change.
"Would you be okay with the festival going to one day?" we asked Turner. "Definitely," answered Turner. "Really?" we asked. "Yes...It's a lot of work," said Turner.
The possible cutback is not official, it is only being considered. This year's festival will not be affected. The 2013 railroad day will remain a two day event. We'll be sure to keep you updated as we learn more.