All concerts canceled at Chesaning Showboat Music Festival - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

All concerts canceled at Chesaning Showboat Music Festival

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CHESANING (WJRT) -

(07/15/13) - For the first time ever, the Chesaning Showboat Music Festival is canceled.

This would have been Showboat's 76th year.

All four of the headlining concerts, which were to run Tuesday-Friday, have in fact been canceled.

Those concerts were to include performances by the Charlie Daniels Band, Bret Michaels with Quiet Riot, Theory of a Deadman with Puddle of Mudd, and KC and the Sunshine Band. Saturday's Blues and Jazz Festival is also canceled, but Monday's garden party and kids night activities will still go on in Showboat Park.

Organizers aren't saying an exact reason why they were force to cancel on such short notice. The community thinks there weren't enough ticket sales to support the event.

The news shocked the community and concert-goers who look forward to the week-long festivities.

"Our whole family grew up next to the park, we've been part of it our whole life, it's like a death in the family," said Donna Ryan. "Kenny Rogers used to come. Oh, I loved him. There's been some big names."

Big names that helped etch the festival in everyone's memory. The Festival brought performers like Phyllis Diller, Willie Nelson and the Oak Ridge Boys to town.

"My husband ran the showboat when the showboat came down the river for 30 years, it's really sad," Ryan said.

"I can't believe it's been canceled," said Debbie Walser. "I hope they can come up something to replace it in the park. My daughter was looking forward to Bret Michaels. She had tickets."

Joe Greenfelder hopes this isn't the last ride for the Showboat.

"I just don't know how they can come back. They've got bills, I know, the acts haven't sold like they thought they would, I hope it does, I really do, it's the focus of the town. I'm scared because once something dies, it's almost impossible to get it back," he said.

"I hope they can come back with something to keep the tradition going after all these years," said George Gewirtz.

Many in the community were aware the committee was having a difficult time raising money this year. Organizers want the public to know they worked very hard to try to make it happen.

"If I would've known I wasn't going to have music I would've been at a lake," said Connie Rolland, who planned on camping at the Showboat Park Campground all week.

"We have talked about it and we're pulling out Wednesday, because there's no reason to stay," she said.

The camp ground looked like a ghost town Monday afternoon; only a few campers have plans to stay put despite the canceled concert.

"It's been good in the past, we have a lot of fun here," said Ronald Jackson of Perry, Mich.

Jackson says he and his family like to listen right from their camper.

"We're going to stay, we have friends who were going to come join us for the event, they're still coming, they'll be here tomorrow," he said.

You can call the ticket office at 989-845-3056 for more information.

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