St. Paul's Grand Old Day event canceled

April 23, 2019 10:08 PM

The Grand Avenue Business Association Tuesday announced the annual Grand Old Day event in St. Paul has been canceled for 2019. 

“It was a difficult and unanimous decision but one that the board of directors made to keep the event fresh for 2020,” said Grand Avenue Business Association interim president Allison Penner-Hurst.


The group's Facebook page said they are looking to the community for input to create "an event that reflects the traditions and interests of the businesses and neighbors who call Grand Avenue home."

Penner-Hurst told KSTP in an interview that the decline in business membership with Grand Avenue Business Association, sponsorship for the event and the ability to attract volunteers are a part of the decision. Along with those factors, Penner-Hurst said the costs of the event continue to rise. 

Multiple sources told KSTP a shakeup in management at the Grand Avenue Business Association also played a role in this year's cancellation.

Grand Avenue Business Association President, Jason Koenig, and Executive Director, Connie DeLage are no longer with the organization and Interim Executive Director, Penner-Hurst, assumed her duties April 5.

KSTP asked Penner-Hurst about the departures and whether they played a role in Grand Old Day's cancellation.

"I am not at liberty to discuss personnel issues regarding the board of directors, because it is a non-profit group," said Penner-Hurst.

Peter Leggett, communications director from the St. Paul Mayor's Office, issued the following statement:

"We join our community in supporting the tough choice made by the Grand Avenue Business Association to cancel the 2019 Grand Old Day. We look forward to working with them and our partners along Grand Avenue to continue this St. Paul tradition in 2020."

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