The Ginkgo trees planted along Main Street offered lovely shade in the summer, but produced a fruit that created an unpleasant odor and large mess. When the city announced plans to remove them, community members pressed for other methods of dealing with the problem such as harvesting the fruit before it ripened or removing just the fruit bearing female trees.
In 1991 the idea for a Ginkgo Festival took root. This festival was a weekend of family fun coinciding with the Midnight Madness Road Race. Its offbeat nature grew through the years with bands at Bandshell Park and activities such as crafts, art, music, cooking contests, edible art, and even virtual fireworks. A virtual parade, where the entries remained stationary, allowed viewers to walk down Main Street to view them. As the Ginkgo tree dates back to the Jurassic period the “Ginkgosarus” was chosen for the festival mascot.
Because of a lack of sufficient funds and volunteers, the festival fizzled out after a five year run.