BRENTWOOD -- The Chamber of Commerce's annual CornFest has been placed in a silo, so to speak.
The three-day festival, which has been a mainstay of summertime in Brentwood since 1991, will not take place in mid-July because not enough people attended the event to cover expenses since it moved from downtown in 2011.
While the 2014 event is indeed canceled, what lies ahead is uncertain, said Ken Seamann, president of the chamber's board of directors.
"We need to step back," he said. "What's in the future is to be decided later."
The decision to cancel the CornFest was the result of a nearly unanimous vote of the Chamber's 14 board of directors, Seamann said.
The event used be held downtown near the current City Hall and in the former City Park, but improvements made in the area and building of the new City Hall required it to relocate in 2011 to the Sciortino Ranch site at Brentwood Boulevard and Sand Creek Road. For the past two years, it has been held nearby at a 20-acre site at Technology Way and Sand Creek Road.
In 2012, attendance was off 40 percent from the year before, and the event raised $20,000 for about 30 local nonprofits, down from $50,000. The 2013 event resulted in a loss of about $35,000 to $40,000 to the chamber, Seamann said.
"It needs to be profitable. That's the whole idea," he said.
And while some people have suggested that the event could be more successful if it moved back downtown, that is easier said than done, he said.
"It's really hard to put it back downtown because the downtown configuration is different now," said Seamann, adding that another problem with relocating to downtown is that fewer vendors could be accommodated. "Some people want it downtown, some people don't want it downtown. Some people don't care one way or another."
Mayor Bob Taylor said he is disappointed that the CornFest will not take place next year, but he can understand the chamber's decision.
"Obviously, it a disappointment because it's a long-standing tradition," he said. "I would say it's probably a good time to step back and reflect and maybe get a little bit of reorganization to make sure if they do decide to do it in the future, they do so in an economical manner."
While the CornFest is off for next year, there is still the possibility that one of its central elements -- a fireworks display -- could still take place with the help of grant funding from the city, Seamann said. In years past, grants have reimbursed the cost of the fireworks display. The chamber received a $28,595 grant to put on the display for the 2013 show.
"I think we'll be in a wait-and-see mode," Taylor said as to whether the city would provide financial support for a fireworks show next year. "We want to make sure we do the right thing."
Contact Eve Mitchell at 925-779-7189. Follow her on Twitter.com/EastCounty_Girl.