Despite several groups showing initial interest, no one has stepped forward to carry on the tradition of the Columbus Rose Festival.

Despite several groups showing initial interest, no one has stepped forward to carry on the tradition of the Columbus Rose Festival.

"It is and has been canceled," said Terri Leist, spokeswoman for the Columbus Department of Recreation and Parks. "It definitely will not take place this year."

The city announced in December that it would cancel the 2009 Rose Festival, along with the Jazz & Ribs Festival and Festival Latino.

The decision came largely because of cuts to funding and staff in the Department of Recreation and Parks, Leist said at the time. Those cuts deeply affected the department maintenance budget and staff, which play a big role in carrying out the festival, she said.

When the city made the announcement, the Clintonville Area Chamber of Commerce came forward to say it would like to find a way to keep the festival going. The city said it would be a daunting task but expressed a willingness to work with outside parties on the festival, which traditionally has been held the second weekend in June.

But with about two months to go until that time, no one has come forward to work with the city on the festival, Leist said.

Clintonville Area Commission Chairwoman D Searcy said the CAC has not discussed the cancellation of the festival, and because of the tight timeline, it looks like the 25-year tradition will be broken this year.

"At this point, we're two months out, and that would be really quick to pull something together," she said.

The two-day rose festival brought approximately 25,000 people to Clintonville each year, playing a big role in boosting revenue for local businesses, former chamber of commerce president Ernie Hartong said previously.

Though the festival will not continue, the Columbus Rose Club will host its annual rose show, with an exhibition and judging, on June 13 at Whetstone Park.

The city, with help from volunteer gardeners, also has continued to tend to the park's roses, which will be in peak bloom in mid-June.

Leist said the festival could return in 2010 if funding is found.