Bolivar, Ohio - The village’s annual celebration of all things strawberry is off for this year.

Bolivar Mayor Rebecca Hubble says they had to cancel their 2019 Strawberry Festival because of downtown improvements that will be getting underway in June.

“Actually, what’s happening is we’re getting a new downtown. We’re going to be putting in all new water lines and meters, and then we’re going to put in the more canal-looking street lighting and that type of thing. We’ll have curbing that will come out,” she explains.

Hubble says they considered several alternate locations but those sites didn’t have the space and amenities to host such a large festival.

“We looked at Fort Laurens, and we also looked at the fire department. It was just at Fort Laurens we didn’t have water and electric. We would have to do major things to get that there. There was enough room there. It just wasn’t adequate for what you would need for a festival,” she says. "The other thing was is that the fire department actually we probably would have had water and electric but it would’ve been a logistic nightmare with parking, trying to figure out how we’re going to get people from point A to point B, that type of thing.”

Hubble assures people that the event will be back on and better than ever when it returns in June of 2020. 

We’re trying to make a lot of improvements as far as electric and water for the people that do come to the festival. It’ll be our first big festival after the new downtown,” she says.

Hubble says the work is expected to be completed in October. All but $30,000 of the $900,000 project is grant funded.  

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