In a letter to the city, Dave Patel, president of the tourism association, laid out the reasons.
“The members had a long, hard discussion about Labor Day at the Post, the decline in attendance and the lack of support from the community to sponsor the event,” the letter said. “Both Catoosa and Walker County schools will not start their school year until the day after Labor Day, Sept. 4, 2012. With the decline in attendance, no financial sponsorship for the event and the reality that many parents will use their last three-day weekend before school starts for family get-togethers, the members voted unanimously not to organize or sponsor Labor Day at the Post.”
Chris McKeever, executive director of the 6th Calvary Museum and association member, said, “The event has never been self-sustaining and we were not being good stewards of the hotel-motel tax funds.
“The Tourism Association has worked hard for the past seven years to make this a viable event,” she said.
During a recent city council meeting, McKeever told council members the event has become a financial drain on the association's limited budget.
“Each year's $4,000 to $5,000 loss makes it imprudent to hold Labor Day at the Post,” she said.
The event was originally begun in the 1950s by the Post Volunteer Fire Department. For decades after its commencement, it was a very popular event for area residents. It had parades, barbecues and concerts by nationally known acts, including local artist James Rogers.
McKeever also pointed out that with declining attendance came fewer vendors willing to participate. “We prefer to make our Fourth of July celebration — Patriotism in the Park — our signature event, complete with fireworks and music,” McKeever said.
According to Patel, it was this loss in revenue that eventually led both the fire department and the tourism association not to continue their respective support of the event.