BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Organizers of the long-running Sloss Fright Furnace have announced the Birmingham event will no longer be produced.
The event, which was held annually from 1997 until 2019, is “too disruptive” and isn’t “well aligned with Sloss’ mission” or its image, the event’s organizers said they were told by the venue’s board.
“Sloss Furnaces, a National Historic Landmark, is run by a board affiliated with the City of Birmingham,” the announcement said. “We were told by that board that ‘Fright Furnace in its current format is too disruptive to school tours and other operations.’ It was also pointed out to us that ‘we do not consider the event well aligned with Sloss’ mission or the image we wish to present,'”
Event organizers said that Sloss’ board offered a limited number of days during which to produce the event. That limited time period would make it difficult for the event to recoup its costs, which typically exceed $500,000.
“The producers, actors, technicians, and special effect masters all want to sincerely thank our fans for your unwavering support over the years,” Sloss Fright Furnace’s announcement said. “It was a great run! Again we say thanks!”
David Arias, executive director of Sloss Furnaces, said he was unaware of the details of the case but would look into the situation and have someone on the venue’s board respond with more information. Arias became executive director in August, according to an announcement by the city of Birmingham.
The office of Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin, which has in recent days engaged in social media criticism of the city’s water board, declined to comment on this story.
“Sloss furnaces is run by its board,” a spokesperson for the mayor said. “You should reach out to them for comment.”
Stay with CBS 42 for updates as this story is developing.