EDITORIAL Long live the Whiskey Rebellion Festival

July 13, 2017
Jim McNutt/Observer-Reporter Exterior of the Observer-Reporter building in Washington.

A few months ago, the Whiskey Rebellion Festival was in jeopardy.

The downtown Washington celebration of the region’s heritage, thick with re-enactors, music, food vendors and more, was on the ropes because of a funding shortfall. Organizers were ultimately able to find the necessary resources, and the festival happened last weekend.

The city needs to encourage events like the Whiskey Rebellion Festival in order to draw more visitors and spark retail and business growth in its downtown. As we noted in April, when the festival was on the ropes, participants in a panel discussion on Washington’s downtown sponsored by the Pittsburgh chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties and the Washington County Chamber of Commerce agreed that the Whiskey Rebellion Festival is an example of what the city is doing right, and that there needed to be more events tied to the Whiskey Rebellion.

Little did the ringleaders of a 1790s insurrection centered on a distilled-spirits tax realize how rewarding it would be for Washington more than two centuries later.

Long live the Whiskey Rebellion Festival. We look forward to its return in 2018.

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