TEHACHAPI, Calif. - The Farmer's Market is kicking off today. The market is one of the big events put on by Main Street Tehachapi, which announced this week it is dissolving.
By the end of August, Main Street Tehachapi will no longer exist or put on any of the town's major events. The non-profit organization was established in 1999 as part of Tehachapi;s downtown revitalization efforts.
"We sponsor a lot of events and host a lot of events to bring tourism to our city," said Lesa Cyr, the Main Street Tehachapi President.
"Main Street has done a lot with their events that have brought thousands of people into the downtown area," said Ida Perkins, the Tehachapi Chamber of Commerce President. "Bringing tourism to our hotels and restaurants."
The organization is expecting 3,000 people at Saturday's chili cook-off and last year's Octoberfest attracted in nearly 5,000 people. So when Perkins heard Main Street was dissolving, she was sad.
"I was in shock when I head the news," said Perkins.
Cyr said the organization survived off of redevelopment funding but when the state revoked that money and the economy tanked, Main Street Tehachapi was left high and dry.
"Events are not as profitable as they used to be because there's not the amount of sponsors that there used to be," said Cyr. "Companies are just cutting back. So it's really hard to get money to back those events. We have money to make the events work, but there's not enough money for the actual cost of our staff and keeping our doors open."
"I don't think anybody will be able to fill Main Street's shoes," said Perkins. "It's sad."
But Cyr is hoping someone will try.
"Tehachapi is very blessed to have a lot of nonprofit groups," said Cyr. "So it's our hope that some people will step up to the plate and taken them on."
"At least it'll give an opportunity for some of the organizations," said Perkins. "We've got a lot of non-profits in town that have minimal fundraisers that they do to raise money for scholarships and those kind of programs."
The last events Main Street Tehachapi will host are Saturday's Chili Cook-off and the weekly Farmer's Market. The market is every Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m., and will run through August 22.
For more information on the Main Street Tehachapi group, go to http://www.mainstreettehachapi.org/ .