2013-14 Chauncey-Dover Spring Festival Royalty
2013-14 Chauncey-Dover Spring Festival Royalty (

Chauncey-Dover Festival Will Have One Last Run

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After 26 years, the time has come for festival organizer Kevin Bennett to hang up his hat and end the Chauncey-Dover Festival. The festival will have its last run, a parade, set for 3 p.m. Sunday, June 7.

Bennett, 61, attributes health issues to his having to end the festival, saying he would’ve continued to keep the annual event active if it weren’t for his compromised state.

“I think you probably just know in your heart when it’s time to stop,” he said.

Festival-goers will see Chauncey-Dover queens of the past and fire trucks from the village, Bennett said, and Deputy Jimmy Childs of the Athens County Sheriff’s Office will be the deejay for the day. There will not be a queen pageant this year, Bennett said.

In its heyday, “Chauncey-Dover Festival was like having a big family reunion, the chance for everyone to get together, have some fun, and it was an alternative thing for everyone to check out,” Bennett said.

However, the festival has been on a downward slope after Bennett stopped including a carnival about four years ago, he said, and the limited means of a small budget along with an inability to bring in out-of-towners didn’t help.

Looking back on the last 26 years, Bennett said he hoped he had provided a positive role model for the young ladies who have competed in the queen pageants throughout the festival’s history.

“I want to think that I did some good for the village,” he said.