After theft accusations, Ault residents chip in to pay for annual festival
July 11, 2017
Just two weeks after former Ault Fall Festival President Robert Swanson was arrested on suspicion of felony theft, town residents have banded together to ensure the show will go on.
The decades-old fall festival is scheduled for Aug. 4-6, and Mayor Butch White said town officials are planning a full schedule, thanks to residents and businesses chipping in to cover costs.
The annual festival includes craft and food booths, a car show and a parade.
Money that should have been held by the Ault Fall Festival organization to pay for this year's festival went missing, and police say Swanson, 52, stole between $9,600 and $19,000 over the course of a year. Swanson served as president of the organization since July 2016.
Swanson has since been charged with felony theft, and he must appear in court Aug. 16.
White and Ault residents have seemingly put the scandal behind them, or at least rebounded.
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"We're pretty excited we're going to be able to do a full schedule this year after what we went through," White said.
Cost estimates to put on the festival range from $5,000 to $10,000, with about $5,000 being upfront costs.
White said there was huge turnout at a community meeting Monday, and the town can count on a number of volunteers and contributions to ensure the festival takes place again this year.
"We're still waiting for (all donations) to come in," White said. "We'll probably do something after the festival to thank everybody."
Tyler Silvy covers government and politics for The Greeley Tribune. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Connect with him at Facebook.com/TylerSilvy or @TylerSilvy on Twitter.