JACKSON, Ohio (WSAZ) -- In just six short months, the streets in Jackson will be packed with people for the annual Apple Festival.
This year, there will be some changes. For the past half century, the festival has been organized solely by the Jackson Jaycees.
The two were separate entities, but Jaycee members ran the festival. This year, there's a new structure with a board of trustees that allows the festival to become a 501(3)c tax exempt organization.
They mayor says it's an opportunity for more people to get involved.
“This is truly a countywide event, not just a Jaycee event,” Jackson Mayor Randy Heath said. “This ensures the entire community has an opportunity in the future to play a role.”
But not everyone is happy with the changes. The president of the Jaycees says members who have decades of service with the festival basically had no say in its future.
“Instead of a bigger group controlling what it would be and how it's gonna be put on, you might only get the input from six or seven people,” Doug Martin said. “If it's the way they want it to be, you're not going to have the vast input of the community.”
He told WSAZ.com several current Jaycees will not be participating in the festival because of the changes, and they are frustrated. But not all the Jaycees are upset.
Festival President John Ross is a Jaycee.
“The festival is bigger than the Jaycees or any single entity,” Ross said. “The move will ensure the festival's financial security and its stabilization well into the future.”
Both sides told WSAZ.com they hope everything will be resolved by September, and visitors likely won't notice any changes when they visit this fall.
The new board is still working on finalizing its by laws and participation requirements.
The organization also will be able to start and oversee new festivals and events in Jackson County.
While six months may seem a long way off, the Apple Festival queen’s pageants are being held this Friday and Saturday.
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