The Festival of Lights, a family friendly holiday event that has been held in the Oil Center the past 25 years, has been canceled this year.
The Oil Center Association Board of Directors canceled the event for 2019, but hasn't made a decision about subsequent years. The board said it will revisit the event next year and make a decision then.
"For now, the OCA is focusing on its mission and celebrating milestones achieved this year," they said in a prepared statement.
The factors cited in the decision were the ability to raise money for such a large event, along with the risk of inclement weather putting a damper on attendance.
Costs have been growing, the board said, and the downturn in Lafayette's economy has made it more difficult to get corporate sponsors.
This event was a showcase for the Oil Center’s businesses and merchants, brought families to the Oil Center during the busy holiday shopping season.
"To have an event be successful over so many years is a true testament to not only the cultural strength in Acadiana, but to a dedicated slew of board members and volunteers throughout the 25 years. We appreciate your dedication and support!" The board's statement said.
The Oil Center is in the midst of a renovation that includes beautification of Coolidge Boulevard and the Azalea Trail, Cultural District designation and Opportunity Zone designation.
There is an event scheduled for Dec. 12 at the Petroleum Club celebrating the Oil Center's designation as a state-recognized cultural district. For the Love of Art and Chocolate will feature art displays and chocolate-themed food and beverages. Tickets are available for $60 at theoilcenter.com.