Eugene Celebration on 'hiatus' for 2014

EUGENE, Ore. - Eugene Celebration 2014 has been canceled, a victim of the success of both the event and downtown revitalization efforts.

The event had been planned for August 22 to August 24.

"We're taking a year off really is what we're doing, a hiatus to reenvision the event, to replan the event and figure out whether this footprint works down here with the regrowth of downtown," said Kit Kesey with Kesey Enterprises.

But downtown has changed in recent years, with vacant lots used for Eugene Celebration events transformed into towering new buildings.

"We had open lots where LCC was, we had blank storefronts that we could put food booths in front of, and we were part of revitalizing downtown," Kesey said. "With the success of last years event, we knew it was going to grow and we really reached max capacity last year in our opinion."

The SLUQ Queen pageant and Eugene Celebration parade appear likely to go forward as planned, however.

"Having the event go away for a year seems to have much less community impact than having the parade go away for a year, so we're reconsidering the parade itself," Kesey said.

Kesey said his company remains committed to Eugene Celebration 2015.

Eugene Celebration started in 1983 as a project of the City of Eugene.

A nonprofit called Downtown Events Management took over in 1998. In 2008, DEMI contracted with Kesey Enterprises to run the Celebration. In 2013, Kesey Enterprises independently produced the Celebration.