HARTFORD -- Riverfest 2016 has been cancelled organizers announced Monday, June 27, less than 2 weeks before the event.
The East Hartford / Hartford annual celebration was set to run from 4 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, July 9, with a fireworks show at 9 p.m.
It was set for the Mortensen Riverfront Plaza in Hartford and Great River Park in East Hartford, but both the event and the fireworks show is cancelled.
Budget issues are to blame for the cancellation. Specifically, an announcement from Riverfront Recapture said the cities couldn't afford the $100,000 associated police and fire department services, or the $20,000 needed for State Police, a cost that was covered by the state budget in the past.
A letter from Hartford's Mayor Luke Bronin and East Hartford Mayor Marcia Leclerc to Michael Zaleski, President & CEO of Riverfront Recapture obtained by FOX 61 said: "We are writing to let you know that, with regret, our cities will be unable to bear the costs of staffing Riverfest, currently scheduled for July 9th. We understand that our inability to bear these costs likely means the event will be cancelled."
The 2016 Rivefront Food Truck Festival on Mortensen Riverfront Plaza will continue as planned from July 7 through 9.
Organizers of Winterfest said the city will not be participating in funding for their winter time event. In previous years, the city said they would cover shortfalls if the funds could not be raised.