Wentzville’s downtown street festival, formerly known as Wabash Days, has been put on hiatus for 2015. Plans are in the works to bring the festival back in 2016, rebranded as Wentzville Days.
Instead of its usual late-August date, the 2016 festival will be held on May 20, 21 and 22.
Angel Magasano, a member of the Wentzville Days Committee, said that it has not yet been determined how the Wentzville Blues and Classic Rock Festival, which is being held on May 16 this year in the downtown area, will work into plans for next year’s Wentzville Days. “It’s possible that the Blues and Classic Rock Festival might be a lead-in event for Wentzville Days,” she said.
Wentzville Parks and Recreation, together with the Wentzville Days committee, has scheduled a public meeting/open house on Thursday, April 30 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. to brainstorm ideas and get the community’s input about entertainment, vendors and sponsorships for the event. The meeting will be held at city hall.
“Like many communities, the railroad plays a large part in Wentzville’s history,” a Parks department press release stated. “To celebrate its connection to railroads, each year Wentzville hosts a three-day, family-oriented street festival. The festival is held in the City’s historic downtown area, along Allen and Main streets, paralleling the train tracks.”
Wabash Days was conceived by the city’s economic development department as a way to bring people back to the city’s historical downtown and highlight the businesses in that area. This year would have been the 12th year for the festival.
For the first few years of its existence, the festival was held in mid-June. The festival tried a brief move to October before settling in as a late-August event.
The cornerstones of the festival have been live music, a street carnival, concessions and vendor booths. Over the years, the event has included horseshoe-throwing and Texas Hold ’em contests, bake sales, 5K runs, car and motorcycle shows, and a parade. The Battle of Wentzville, a civil war re-enactment, has run concurrently with the festival several times.
The event has not been a money-maker for the city. At a board of aldermen work session in February of 2013, the parks department said that over the years the event had lost nearly $100,000. During that work session, the aldermen discussed other options, including finding organizations to take over the event.