For 30th CumberlandFest, patrons will get in for free

For 30th CumberlandFest, patrons will get in for free

CUMBERLAND – The delayed 30th edition of CumberlandFest, planned for the first full weekend of August, will have retooled offerings to make it more appealing to the community and visitors to Cumberland, say organizers.

At the top of the list of changes for 2021 is free admission for anyone who comes to CumberlandFest, Executive Director Jerry Schimmel told the Town Council last week, a “pretty significant change” that was called for by residents in a recent community survey.

In the past, gate attendance has been a good source of revenue, he said, though organizers did previously waive entrance fees for those age 12 and younger.

The 30th year of the festival will be a special one, he said, with the decision made several weeks ago to continue with it. The festival has seen its growing pains and challenges, he said, but is ready to take another leap.

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One significant cost that CumberlandFest won’t have to bear this year is the $18,000 for its fireworks display. Mayor Jeff Mutter told the council last week he felt that given the fact that this is CumberlandFest’s 30th year, that organizers won’t be charging at the gate, and that everyone’s trying to make this a big community event, the town will pick up the tab this one time.

Schimmel told councilors that given the expense of fireworks displays, organizers are looking at other ways to increase income and reduce expenses, including working closely with Rockwell Amusements to expand the midway rides, which is easily the biggest draw to the event. Entertainment does bring people in, he said, but nowhere near as much as the rides do for families and children.

He said there will be a number of smaller changes this year that may not impact as many people, including dramatic improvements to bingo.

CumberlandFest is again welcoming all youth organizers to be part of CumberlandFest as a fundraising opportunity, in keeping with its mission to help the youth of Cumberland. Earning money for volunteer hours is a much more effective fundraising method than standing outside the coffee shop asking for money, said Schimmel. Some organizations made a significant amount of revenue two years ago based on their commitment of volunteer hours, he said.

Councilor Lisa Beaulieu thanked organizers for their work to retool the event, offering best wishes for great weather on the weekend of the event.