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Fruitcake won't fly in 2014

19th Annual Great Fruitcake Toss canceled in Manitou Springs

Fruitcake won't fly in 2014

MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. - Fruitcake will not catapult across Manitou Springs in 2014.

The annual Great Fruitcake Toss is going by the wayside this January.  As tradition holds, people would bring unwanted fruitcake to Manitou Springs after the holidays and smash them.  Throughout the years, people got more creative, launching the cakes in catapults and slingshots.  The event has gained national and international attention.

Leslie Lewis, executive director of the Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Bureau says that, in part, budget problems, unpredictable weather and low staffing are to blame.

"It is a very hard decision to make," said Lewis.  "This would have been the 19th year.  It's been around for awhile.  People either love it or they hate it."

One Manitou Springs resident told KRDO NewsChannel 13 that she was disappointed to hear a quirky, Manitou tradition got the kibosh.

"It's always been 'keep Manitou weird,'" said Maggie Santos.  "The Halloween activities, the fruit toss, all those kind of things bring things to Manitou that makes us a little different.  When those things go away, it takes away from the community feel up here."

Lewis also said that the toss' location makes the investment a risky one.  The toss used to be held in Manitou's Memorial Park which was within walking distance of downtown businesses.  However, catapulted fruit cake hit nearby homes and businesses, so the toss was moved to Manitou Springs High School -- a more secluded location in Manitou.

"One of the things we used to see was people would come, they'd throw their fruit cakes, then they'd wander downtown," Lewis said.  "At the high school, you can't really wander that far."

Lewis said that attracting tourists to Manitou Springs is a priority and they are focusing on efficient ways to do that in the coming year.  She hopes that event organizers will be able to bring back the fruitcake toss event for 2015.

Santos said that while she understands the city's budget problems, she thinks it's important for Manitou to stick to its traditions so that tourists will continue to be attracted to the area.

"We have so much here," she said.  "We need everybody else in the state to understand that we're still open and we have those kinds of activities going on."

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