Lafayette in Talks with Quaker to Keep Oatmeal Festival Alive, Officials Say
The Lafayette Oatmeal Festival’s cancellation, mourned by thousands of breakfast revelers upon its announcement last month, might be short lived.
Pat Vero, Lafayette Chamber of Commerce director of events and marketing, said Monday that the chamber was in talks with Quaker Oats Co. — the event’s major sponsor and whose withdrawal last month effectively killed the 22-year-long event — to resume the function as scheduled in January.
It’s unclear what the negotiations are focused on — officials said last month Quaker was withdrawing its sponsorship over “tightening budgets and shifting priorities,” but Vero declined to specify if the company would be revising its contributions upon a return, conceding only that current dialogues were dealing with whether everyone involved could once again be available — or if they will yield anything.
“We are still in the negotiations stage” and “trying to establish whether every entity involved in the event in the past” can return on short notice, Vero said Monday, adding the caveat that “nothing at this time” is set in stone for the event’s return.
It’s also unclear what drove the company back to deliberations, though Vero said Monday she believes Quaker “realized the importance of the event and hoped to bring it back.”
The event had seen “record numbers” in recent years, Vero said last month. In addition to the popular Oatmeal Breakfast, the festival also boasted a 5K walk/run, and, an addition to the 2018 event, two Ninja Warrior Courses.
The festival took its roots in Lafayette in the ’90s and has consistently drawn thousands of Coloradans in years since.
“For 22 years the Lafayette Oatmeal Festival has been a vibrant celebration of all things oats,” the company wrote in a statement Monday, “and as the leader in oats for more than 140 years, Quaker has been honored to be a part of it.
“We recognize that it’s events like these that make our brand loved, and we are continuing the conversation about Quaker’s involvement in the festival with the Chamber of Commerce,” the company stated. “We are extremely grateful for Lafayette’s patience as we work together and are eager to find a way to continue to support the event and the community.”
Any official announcement on the event’s return will likely come later this week, Vero said.
Anthony Hahn: 303-473-1422, firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/_anthonyhahn