In a public letter, the committee members of the Fishers Freedom Festival Committee said that the festival will no longer continue its yearly tradition.
The organization cited the lack of support from the city as the main reason for ending the festival.
Fishers used to provide $85,000 and the support of city workers to the two-day festival, but after the City Council created a Nonprofit Grant Committee to evaluate how the City supports all nonprofit organizations, the Fishers Freedom Festival Committee was “unable to demonstrate fiscal independence”, according to Mayor Scott Fadness.
Funds previously allocated to the Fishers Freedom Festival will be reallocated to the following organizations:
- Ascent 121 – assistance for survivors of human trafficking
- Cherish – child advocacy and abuse intervention and prevention services
- Conner Prairie Museum, Inc. – interactive history park and Smithsonian-affiliate museum
- Geist Half Marathon – annual marathon fundraiser for youth health and wellness programs
- Hamilton County Leadership Academy – a community leadership development program
- Hamilton County Youth Assistance for Fishers Youth Assistance Program – develop and provide access to programs and services that promote positive growth experiences and enhance home and community relationships.
- Hamilton Southeastern School Foundation – its mission is to bring the next best practices in education home to local students and teachers
- Janus Developmental Services – provides adult individuals with disabilities the opportunity to participate and contribute to the community
- Nickel Plate Arts – supports, promotes and provides outstanding arts experiences in Fishers
- Spaceport Exploration – supports STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math) education that prepares America for the technologies that are shaping the world
- Youth Mentoring Initiative (YMI) – provides mentoring for students by building and sustaining a mentoring community with the highest level of service, integrity, encouragement, and empathy.
- City of Fishers Neighborhood Matching Grant – supports neighborhood beautification projects
- City of Fishers Tree Matching Grant – supports neighborhood tree planting
The Fishers Freedom Festival says the financial help from the city dropped to $45,000 in 2017. The organization said it would cost around $125,000 to pay for and staff the festival.
The festival had a 29-year run. It occurred the last weekend of June before Independence Day.