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Century-old Glen Burnie summer tradition comes to a halt. Residents say decision is "heartbreaking."

A long-running Glen Burnie summer staple comes to an end
A long-running Glen Burnie summer staple comes to an end 02:13

BALTIMORE - The long-running Glen Burnie Carnival is no longer economically feasible and will be coming to an end.

The century-old tradition, which has been held nearly every summer since 1908, has been canceled because of rising prices, organizers say.

When the Glen Burnie Carnival started, the carousel was pulled by a mule and the big attraction was a 10-cent ride in an automobile. 

'Staple of Glen Burnie'  

Residents say they are disappointed the decades-long community summer staple has been called off.

"Since I was a little girl, it's been a staple of Glen Burnie," said Kathy Breach, who has lived in Glen Burnie for 64 years and has attended the carnival for as long as she could remember.

Breach told WJZ she was looking forward to bringing her youngest grandchild to the carnival for the first time.

"We go every year and I have a new granddaughter who will be 1, so it was so disappointing," Breach said.

Why was the carnival canceled?

The Glen Burnie Improvement Association, which sponsors the carnival, announced on social media the cancelation of the carnival, saying it lacked volunteers, experienced increased expenses and couldn't establish an equitable agreement with the carnival company.

"With the economy the way it is right now, people are struggling just to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table, so I can understand, but it doesn't take away from the fact that it's absolutely heartbreaking," Glen Burnie resident Taylor Johnson said.

Oh, the memories

The carnival was the backdrop to some of the residents' fondest memories with their families.

"Getting on the rides with them, I have video with them on the rides," Glen Burnie resident Michelle Johnson said.

"With the family, walking around and the wheels of course with the prizes," Breach said.

Beloved organizer died

Breach believes the decision to cancel was at least partially due to the death of GBIA President Barbara Moeller who died in March.

Moeller was beloved by the community and considered the unofficial mayor of Glen Burnie.

"She was a wonderful woman," Breach said. "She was the most integral part of the carnival. For her not to be here any longer, I just think it's very difficult to go on without her."

Just a pause?

Residents hope the cancellation is only a hiatus.

"Hopefully, things will get a little better financially," Taylor Johnson said. "The carnival was always something we could look forward to."

WJZ is awaiting response from the Glen Burnie Improvement Association for more details about the decision to cancel. 

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