Sauerkraut Fest In Security Pickle

A dispute over security guard liability has left a sour taste in the mouths of Waynesville, Ohio, village councilors and resulted in the termination of the town’s contract with the operators of the Ohio Sauerkraut Festival. 


Fans of the pickled cabbage should fear not. Despite the termination, the festival, which draws some 350,000 annually to southwest Ohio, is expected to continue without a hitch in 2017.

Concerns over who is liable for the actions – tasing, for example – of hired security caused the village council to exercise its option to end the contract before its 2019 expiration. However, Waynesville Mayor David Stubbs told the Dayton Daily News that the termination leaves enough time to negotiate a new deal.

The Waynesville Area Chamber of Commerce stages the festival through a local volunteer committee.

“We’re just renegotiating,” Director Dawn Schroeder told the paper. “The festival’s not in danger of being canceled.

”Among the issues being discussed include how much insurance the festival needs to carry, as well as compensation and liability for local police hired to provide security. The village reportedly put the chamber of commerce in a pickle by holding it responsible for security misdeeds.

“There’s no insurance policy you can buy that covers an officer tasing someone,” Waynesville attorney Martin Hubbell told the Daily News. Negotiations are expected to begin after the holidays, according to the paper. The festival traditionally takes place over two days in October. Both parties to the dispute agree the show will go on next fall.

“There are two things Waynesville is known for: antiques and the sauerkraut festival, and not in that order. Everybody’s got to pitch in,” Hubbell said.