The idea of thousands of people walking up and down Watterson Trail buying Halloween decor from vendors in Jeffersontown for the annual Gaslight Festival – well, you knew that wasn’t going to happen. New Jtown Chamber Deanna Karem announced COVID-related changes this week. Here’s the official release.
JEFFERSONTOWN, Ky. (July 22, 2020) – In light of the continued impacts of the global pandemic, The Chamber Jeffersontown is revising its plans to celebrate its annual Gaslight Festival weekend. The Chamber’s board has voted to postpone the festival weekend event until Spring 2021.
Meanwhile, organizers are making arrangements to continue several traditional Gaslight Festival events that can be held safely during the summer months, including the 5K run/walk and the Balloon Glow.
“The Festival Committee has been meeting for months and working with local and state officials to find ways to host the weekend festivities in a safe and healthy manner,” said Bill Reynolds, chair of the board of directors for the Chamber Jeffersontown. “Gaslight is not just an event. It’s a tradition in Jtown so we take this decision very seriously. It was a tough call but one we think is important to the safety and well-being of our exhibitors and visitors.”
Celebrating its 51st year, Gaslight Festival has become one the oldest and largest festivals in the region, drawing more than 200,000 visitors to Jeffersontown during the eight-day event. It has grown from a weekend celebration offering arts and crafts, music, local foods and beer to a week-long celebration featuring a motorcycle ride, 5K run, business appreciation luncheon, festival parade and balloon glow event to kick off the weekend. The event is traditionally set the third weekend in September.
Due to the potential spread of COVID 19, the annual weekend celebration featuring street vendors and attractions will not take place in September. Instead, many of those festivities are being rescheduled for spring 2021.
To continue Gaslight Festival’s great tradition, the Chamber is continuing plans for its Chamber golf scramble on September 14. The Gaslight Festival 5K Run is on September 15. The run/walk, which typically draws more than 600 participants, will offer a virtual option to allow competitors to navigate the course on their own schedules. Details will be made available soon.
The Festival Committee is also working to coordinate and expand its annual Balloon Glow as a drive-thru event. The event is scheduled to take place September 18, and details of the location and time will be announced at a later date.
Festival organizers are continuing to discuss other events to determine which annual festivities may be held as scheduled and which may be moved to spring 2021.
“Gaslight Festival is an incredibly important part of Jtown’s heritage and history, and we are committed to keeping it alive,” said Deana Epperly Karem, president and CEO of The Chamber Jeffersontown. “However, the safety of our citizens and guests is the most important factor. Gaslight Festival will look different this year, but it will go on and allow our community to celebrate its unique character. And we look forward to a time when we can physically come back together to celebrate business, community and relationships.”
The Chamber Jeffersontown is a membership organization representing nearly 1,100 businesses. Programs and services of the Jtown Chamber are meant to offer networking opportunities, develop individuals as professionals and build a community of business leaders positively impacting the economy. Gaslight Festival is an important fundraiser for the Jtown Chamber and offers booths showcasing local business, arts and crafts, and many other lifestyle amenities of life in the city of Jeffersontown.