Kenan’s Mill Festival canceled

Published 9:16 pm Friday, August 11, 2017

After a lack of volunteers and losing money for the last several years, the annual Kenan’s Mill Festival has been canceled for 2017.

Candi Duncan, treasurer of the Selma and Dallas County Historic Preservation Society, said efforts were made to continue the long-standing tradition, but circumstances out of their control led to the cancellation of the event.

“I hate that it’s another event that we’ve lost in Selma,” Duncan said. “We feel so sad about it because we lost the Riverfront Market and now we’re losing this too.”

Duncan said the festival is supposed to be a fundraiser to help the society keep up and restore many structures in the area, but for the last few year they have lost money on the event, and it’s costing them too much to be able to put it on year after year.

“We’ve got to do a fundraiser that will allow us to do the things that we’ve committed to,” Duncan said.

“The direction we were going in just didn’t seem to have enough activities or vendors to allow us to pay for what we were spending to put the event on and we just can’t keep losing money.”

Duncan said she hopes that volunteers will come forward and work together to create a new festival, one that might attract more people.

“We want to do something out there, and maybe we want to change what we want,” she said. “We do hope to revive it in a different way.”

Duncan said besides losing money, there were not enough volunteers to have the festival, and the attendance was going down each year.

“We really need some young volunteers to come forward and help us to where we can put on an event,” Duncan said. “It’s not just the Preservation Society. It’s all the civic groups that are getting to where there’s just no young people that want to volunteer. We’ve been trying to hang on for the last few years, we’ve been trying to get some new volunteers.”

Duncan said Kenan’s Mill is still available to rent and for tours, despite the cancelation of the festival.

“It’s still available for rent if someone wants to rent it and have an event, we still rent it out for weddings and retreats and class reunions and it’s still open for tours,” Duncan said. “We’re happy to offer it to the community, it just takes a lot to keep it up, keep the grass cut and we have to do something that helps us make it pay its way.”

Duncan said anyone interested in volunteering in the future can call her at (334) 412-8550.