With a new business plan and a shorter festival in 2011, the Chisholm Trail Festival is at a crossroads.
We hope the current festival board is successful in recreating what is a summer-time tradition for Newton.
The festival has been around for almost 30 years and has reinvented itself time and time again to respond to the ever-changing needs of a community.
Gone is the eight-day event Newton once had, but that is a good thing. That year the festival was simply too long.
This year the festival will not have a “perfect storm,” meaning no locations to move indoors to in the case of rain. Rain that all but wiped out last year’s event and left the non-profit entity charged with creating the festival in the red.
They return with a clean slate financially, thanks to the city giving some of the funds budgeted for this year to pay off the debt from last year.
The festival board smartly is making adjustments to how acts are paid and trying to make moves to involve more of the community in a shorter event.
If those changes and moving the festival to June rather than the July 4 weekend will be enough to keep the festival viable remains to be seen.
Ultimately, the community will be the judge of that. It would be sad to say goodbye to the festival, so we urge our readers to circle a couple of events when the schedule comes out and attend. Give these guys a chance as they try and reinvent themselves.

— Kansan editorial board