NEWPORT, AR (KAIT) - Like many areas in Region 8, the city of Newport has been hit hard this past spring with tornadoes, flooding and record amounts of rain. Now the city has called off one of its biggest events of the year.
"It's just not going to happen this year," said Newport Mayor David Stewart.
For the 2nd time in 30 years Portfest is canceled. Stewart is on the Portfest Board of Directors and says their hands were tied. "We would look at an alternate location and when we thought we had that under control we had multiple inches of rain again," said Stewart.
And after the additional rain and meeting with other board members, there was no other option but to call off the event.
It's an event that brings thousands of people to the area, and a virtual gold mine for motels, restaurants and other local businesses. Stewart says the financial strain could be huge. "Just like anything that's seasonal, there are weekends and certain times of the year that many of the folks here in town expect a big crowd and people to spend a lot of money and that's just not going to happen this year."
But while the main festival is a no-go, Stewart says other events that go hand-in-hand in Portfest will still take place including the Kids Fishing Derby and Cintas 5K Walk & Run.
"Normally we have Portfest and it's a big deal and folks know all over several counties. They like to come to Portfest. We will be back next year weather permitting we'll have a bigger and better Portfest than ever," said Stewart.
The Kids Fishing Derby and Cintas 5K Walk & Run will both take place this weekend.
Kids Fishing Derby: Saturday, May 28th at 8 a.m.
Lockwood Park Extension
Free fishing for kids 12 and under.
Cintas 5K Walk & Run: Saturday, May 28th at 8 a.m.
Remmel Park, Newport
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