After 28 years, it appears Rockin' on the River may have reached the end of the line. The Aug. 29 concert will be event chairman Bob Earley's swan song at Falls River Square.
Earley told the Cuyahoga Falls News-Press on Wednesday, July 30, that he believes the city wants to go in a different direction and so he is going to do the same. "It's in the wind, the times they are a-changing," Earley said, adding that Kenny Rogers said it best, "Know when to hold them and know when to fold them. And I'm folding."
Mayor Don Walters confirmed by phone he wants to see what the people of Falls want to do on summer weekends so he has appointed a seven-member committee. "I want the committee to look at all the interested parties," Walters said. "I'm guessing there will be interest. They will look at all the potential promoters and what they would want to do there. It appears the city is putting it on, but we don't. It reflects on the city so we want to have a good product down there."
Earley and his wife, Sandy, who together own the Rockin' on the River name, met with the mayor on Monday, July 28. Bob and Sandy's company, Falls River Concerts LLC, has been putting on Rockin' on the River for the past 11 years. Walters let the Earleys know about the committee and that many on the committee are leaning toward keeping Bob Earley as the promoter but they have to look at proposals by anyone interested.
On that day, Earley hand-delivered a letter to Walters stating that while he and Sandy were at first "shocked" by Walters' news that the city may go in another direction, "we now see it as a great opportunity to explore other options and venues."
"On that note," the letter continued, "as of Monday, Aug. 3, 2014, Rockin' on the River will be actively pursuing other opportunities for 2015 and beyond. We will start a marketing campaign to promote our last four Cuyahoga Falls concerts with some special ideas. We hope the city will join us in celebrating and promoting these last four events."