After a lengthy discussion, board member Paul Fourshee made a motion that Renaissance on Main recommend to the Cadiz City Council that they accept the responsibility of the festival. Board member Portia Ezell seconded the motion, although the wording was changed to, “accept the Ham Festival,” eliminating the word, “responsibility.” All of the five present members voted in favor of the motion.
Chairwoman Donna McNichols said that she and Renaissance on Main Director Cindy Sholar had been approached by the Ham Festival Committee about taking “under the city’s umbrella.” Sholar said that the festival had grown way too big for the committee members to handle on their own, although the committee would retain its current members for some time. She said that the committee’s chairwoman, Thelma Fowler wasn’t as healthy as she used to be and had been asking Sholar to take it over for a long time. She said that although she was reluctant at first and that she agreed to take it on “not without a lot of prayer,” she said that many cities with festivals of comparable size to the Ham Festival ran them through their Main Street programs. She also said she was concerned that if the city didn’t take it on this year, the festival would “lose steam” and might not come back.
Sholar said that the biggest reason that she thought Renaissance should take over the festival was because the city was already liable for anything that happens on Main Street.
“If someone’s going to sue (anyone for anything that might happen), it’s going to be us,” she said.
She said that the city has to pay for insurance for the festival every year and that the Ham Festival Committee would save $9,000 on insurance if they were covered by the city. She said that this was not only because the committee could forgo paying insurance on what the city already had to pay, but also because municipalities could get cheaper rates. She said that the county bears no liability for any injuries that might occur at the festival even though the city does. She added that Trigg County Treasurer Lucy Oliver told her that the county would help the city in any way it could.
Read The Cadiz Record for all of your Ham Festival news.