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Arizona city cancels Lettuce Days festival for 2017


PHOENIX — The annual winter celebration of agriculture in Yuma — Lettuce Days — has been canceled for next year, organizers said Wednesday, citing cost as a factor.

“Upon careful consideration, it has been determined that the annual festival requires further research and evaluation to identify how Yuma Lettuce Days fits our mission and, perhaps, develop ways to make the event more sustainable,” Linda Morgan, Yuma Visitors Bureau director, said in a statement.

The Yuma Sun reported this year’s event, held in February, didn’t come close to making up the $234,000 it spent.

The festival usually drew about 20,000 people to the western Arizona city, and featured entertainment, agricultural displays and cooking demonstrations.

In its 18 years, Lettuce Days grew from a free event held on Main Street to a bigger spot in 2011 that required an admission fee at the Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park.

Two years ago, it partnered with the University of Arizona’s Yuma Agricultural Center for even more spacious surroundings.

Kevin Eatherly, president of the Yuma Area Agricultural Council, said he was disappointed but understood the decision.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.