The Highland Fest, a popular three-day festival in St. Paul’s Highland Park neighborhood held every July for the past 36 years, is no more, its organizers announced Saturday.
In a post on the festival’s Facebook page, the Highland Business Association’s board of directors said that rising costs made continuing the event prohibitive.
“Every year ... Highland Fest has been a labor of love organized by the Highland Business Association, our member businesses, and other volunteers and organizations from the community,” board spokesman James Farnsworth wrote in the post. “As the board examined the increased anticipated expenditures such as the estimated police/security costs from the city of St. Paul and the inability to receive Cultural STAR funds this year ... the decision was made to cancel.”
St. Paul’s Cultural STAR program, which focuses on cultural and arts events, gives out three-year grants, but requires a year’s break after the three years. 2020 is the break year for the Highland Fest.
The festival, which featured arts and crafts, dachshund races, music and food vendors, drew huge crowds every summer. Among its attractions was a chance to climb to the top of the Highland Park water tower, which is open to the public only one other time of year.