Taste of Blue Ash will not return this summer, ending its decades-long run

Posted at 11:12 AM, Mar 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-05 16:32:58-05

BLUE ASH, Ohio -- A former Blue Ash official said moving Taste of Blue Ash spelled trouble for the decades-old event and led to its cancellation this year.

Residents found out in the city's winter newsletter that the event will not return this summer after a more than 30-year run.

Robert Ryan, a former council member, told WCPO that Taste of Blue Ash was technically dropped back in December during a city council meeting. The event brought brought restaurants operations and food vendors to the streets of the city.

But Ryan said numbers went down in attendance and food vendors, and the move from the downtown to Summit Park several miles away spelled trouble.

“In my opinion, the Taste of Blue Ash leaving from here and going to Summit Park may have grown too fast, too big. It wasn't done in a measured way,” Ryan said Sunday.

Breanna Gilroy, a spokeswoman for the city of Blue Ash, said officials merely decided the event had given all it could and the city should explore community new events.

"Each year, the City evaluates its events and it’s typical to make changes to the lineup in order to bring new, fresh ideas to the public," she wrote in an email. "It was determined that the Taste: Blue Ash Food and Music Festival had simply run its course and would no longer continue."

She added the city had been "proud" to host Taste of Blue Ash for as long as it did.

Last year's Taste of Blue Ash was a two-day event, on Friday and Saturday, because the city found Sunday afternoons were a tough draw for crowds. Blue Ash also tweaked the setup to give it a more "intimate feel," had a happy hour on Friday, brought in food trucks, redesigned the children's area and had in local and regional bands performing on a smaller stage throughout the day.

See our interview leading up to last year's festival:


Red, White and Blue Ash is still set for July 4 at Summit Park. Tens of thousands of people pack the park to see big-name bands and a spectacular fireworks show.

And SummitFest, a new one-day country music festival, will make its debut there in June. Three national country music artists will headline the festival set to take place noon-11 p.m. Saturday, June 9, according to a city of Blue Ash press release.

SummitFest will also feature food vendors, a beer and whiskey garden and child-friendly activities in the park located at 4335 Glendale Milford Road. Admission to the festival will be free.