Fairborn makes decision on its annual Halloween festival

The humble town of Fairborn is responsible for the largest Halloween festival in the Miami Valley. Their downtown turned into a three-day party that took place from Friday Oct. 19 to Sunday, Oct. 21. Main attractions include Foy's Haunted Museum, The Spooktacular Parade, a costume contest, The Zombie Walk and live music in addition to food trucks, a beer garden, carnival rides, games and local merchants open for shopping. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
The humble town of Fairborn is responsible for the largest Halloween festival in the Miami Valley. Their downtown turned into a three-day party that took place from Friday Oct. 19 to Sunday, Oct. 21. Main attractions include Foy's Haunted Museum, The Spooktacular Parade, a costume contest, The Zombie Walk and live music in addition to food trucks, a beer garden, carnival rides, games and local merchants open for shopping. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

The festival is normally one of the largest Halloween events in the area

The Fairborn Area Chamber of Commerce has decided to cancel the 2020 Halloween Festival, normally one of the largest events in the Dayton area around the holiday.

The chamber announced it was canceling the event in a Facebook post on Thursday. For the past eight years, the weekend-long party has brought thousands of people to Fairborn for festivities including live music, a costume contest, a parade and rides.

Mike Foy, the chamber treasurer and owner of Foy’s Halloween Stores, a long-time institution in Fairborn which plays a large role in the town’s Halloween festivities, said he is not happy about the decision but he did vote in favor of canceling the event.

“I do believe this is the right thing to do,” he said. “We could have done it but could we have had an outbreak of COVID-19? Yes. And that’s what I can’t take ... I don’t want to ruin Halloween for Fairborn.”

Brian Lampton, the president of the Fairborn Area Chamber of Commerce Board, said it was a tough decision. The city and Greene County Public Health were helpful but he said the board decided they “didn’t think [they] could pull it off.”

He said there were two major factors influencing the board’s decision. The timeline to submit a plan to the health department and have it approved would have been tight. The larger problem, Lampton said, was that the festival normally pulls volunteers from employers such as the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base or the Wright-Patt Credit Union and those people are not allowed to be in a group setting right now.

Foy said Fairborn will still have Halloween even if it’s different this year. He still plans to roll out all the elaborate decorations downtown he normally does.

“Next year we’ll come back stronger,” he said.

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