Marietta Riverfront Roar cancelled for another year

Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 12:17 PM EDT
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MARIETTA, Ohio- (WTAP) - Another summer event has fallen victim to the pandemic-for the second year in a row.

The event is the Marietta Riverfront Roar, held at the Ohio River Levee in July since its inaugural year 20 years ago.

This year’s festival had been scheduled for July 9-11.

But in a statement released Tuesday morning, Committee Chairwoman Carmen Taylor said the board of directors voted to cancel the 2021 event.

“With so much uncertainty, we felt we had no choice but to make the exceedingly difficult decision to suspend Roar another year,” committee chairwoman Carmen Taylor said. “We started planning last fall for the 2021 Riverfront Roar, hoping that we’d be clear of lockdowns by this summer, or at least know they’d be released in time for our event. However, there’s been no ‘all clear’ from the governor, nor any indication of one in sight, and we’re at the point of having to sign contracts, get permits, and issue commitment money or to call it off.”

Taylor continued, “As we’re a free-to-the-public event, we depend upon fundraisers, sponsorships, and donations to exist, in addition to modest revenue from concessions. But with many local businesses financially stressed amid lockdown limits, the money to support the event has become scarce. We empathize with our sponsors and understand they need their limited funds to help them weather this protracted storm; giving to an event like Roar is a luxury they just can’t afford this year.”

The three-day festival includes nationally-sanctioned powerboat racing, live music, fireworks, concessions and children’s activities.

It’s also drawn large crowds to the Ohio River, something that’s made holding weekend festivals difficult during the COVID-19 outbreak, due to social distancing requirements.

The pandemic, for the second year in a row, has already led to the cancellation for this year of several events in Parkersburg, including the Taste of Parkersburg and the Multi-Cultural Festival.

This is the first major event on the Ohio side of the river to be put off for another year.

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