St. Rita Fest ends nearly 100-year run

Posted at 4:59 PM, Jan 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-15 19:12:08-05

EVENDALE, Ohio -- St. Rita Fest, the popular summer festival and fundraiser, is ending its nearly 100-year run.

Gregory Ernst, executive director of St. Rita School for the Deaf, said the school's board determined other fundraising efforts would be more worthwhile after reviewing the festival's costs and staffing needs.

There is one bright spot: the festival's Grand Raffle, with its $25,000 cash prize, will continue.

"We realize that thousands of people in our community have fond memories of St. Rita Fest, and we feel honored to have been a part of so many people’s lives," Ernst said via news release. "We believe this is the right thing to do for the future of our students and sincerely hope that the people of Greater Cincinnati will continue to support us in other ways."

The news comes not long after St. Rita's ended its annual haunted house because of dwindling crowds and income. After four decades as one of the Tri-State's most well-known October attractions, the school said it could no longer compete with the many commercial haunted houses that have sprung up in recent years.