Summer Motion

Fans of Render the Hearts stand and praise during their contemporary christian night performance at Summer Motion on Tuesday. KEVIN GOLDY | THE DAILY INDEPENDENT

ASHLAND Even though Summer Motion 2020 won’t proceed, organizers are looking toward having the long-standing Tri-State event for 2021.

Ruby Deerfield, co-chairwoman of Summer Motion, said the committee made the decision on Friday to put the event on hiatus until 2021.

Deerfield said no money will be lost on musical acts and the committee has withdrawn its request for the $30,000 Summer Motion usually receives from the city of Ashland.

“We have asked companies and individuals who have supported for 2020 that we can return your donations or keep for 2021 festival,” Deerfield said. “We totally understand companies if they want their money returned to be used for local pandemic efforts.”

She said she expects the event, which offers entertainment, food, vendors and activities, will not be hurt by skipping a year, especially in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Summer Motion is a well-established festival in our area. The festival has been here in our community for over 30 years. Our concerns are our community and getting through this national pandemic together,” she said. “If at all possible, we want to plan a bigger Summer Motion for 2021. I am already receiving numerous texts, emails that our community understands and supports our decision.”

Ashland Mayor Steve Gilmore agreed postponing Summer Motion is understandable.

 “I think it’s a wise decision,” Gilmore said. “It’s the prudent thing to do.”

He said he believes it will be a while before such large, group activities will be a good idea.

“We all are living in times we’ve never experienced, even those of us who have been around quite a while,” he said.

The mayor expects the loss of this year’s Summer Motion will affect the city economically.

“It’s a big factor obviously for our restaurants, service stations, service industries, shops downtown,” he said. “A lot of people come from many, many miles for those events and I’m sure (local businesses) get a real boost during that period of time.”

He said he also expects putting together the city’s next budget to be a challenge as businesses paying city taxes will suffer.

“We’re going to be in a real strain by the end of the fiscal year and we’re going to be really tightening our belts and having lots of reductions. Every day, the city is losing revenues,” he said. “We’ll figure a way to make things happen, even with an austere budget. But the health and safety of our residents is No. 1 and promoting anything we can for their health.”

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