RICHMOND (CBS 5) – The Exotic Erotic Ball and Expo, a three-decade old annual Bay Area celebration of eroticism often billed by organizers as “The Wildest Party on Earth,” was abruptly canceled for 2010 – just 24 hours before the event was scheduled to be held.

Perry Mann, the creator and long-time host of the event, made the announcement Friday in a post to EEB’s official website. It provided no other details, but said further information would be forthcoming.

READ MORE: UPDATE: News Crew Security Guard Shot in Oakland Dies From Injuries; Photo of Suspect Vehicle Released

A statement issued later Friday by a publicist for the event stated, “The producers cite a drop in ticket sales during the pivotal final days leading up to the event, plus unexpected cost overruns and operational issues as the causes for cancellation.”

Mann had touted what was supposed to be the 31st annual event’s new waterfront location at the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond’s Marina District as well as a VIP area aboard he San Francisco Belle ship.

One event contractor told CBS 5 that an estimated 2,000 advance tickets had been sold for Saturday night. The publicist said event organizers would be refunding money to people who purchased tickets.

“The producers would like to extend their heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the contractors and entertainers who worked so hard to try and make this year’s Ball an extraordinary experience,” read the statement from the event’s publicist. “In addition, they deeply regret causing any disappointment to those fans who have enjoyed attending the Ball as a source of entertainment and celebration of personal freedom for the past 30-years.”

READ MORE: California Gold Rush Town Typifies Labor-Shortage Plight Vexing Businesses

The EEB – a bizarre combination of a sexy Halloween party, Burlesque show and fetish display – is traditionally held around Halloween time, usually the weekend before. It was the longest-running public adult-themed event in the world.

The annual indoor event had become a major attraction in the Bay Area and has been attended by nearly half a million people since its inception with steadily increasing growth in attendance each year.

Many attendees of the EEB came to the event in wildly elaborate and creative, sexually-themed costumes to compete in the annual “Best Costume” contest – which typically awards the winner with prize money and merchandise in the $10,000 range.

Due to the worldwide popularity of the event, the City of San Francisco – which hosted the event for many years – issued three proclamations for “Exotic Erotic Ball Day,” twice by then-Mayor Willie Brown in 1999 and 2001 and once by current Mayor Gavin Newsom in 2004.

MORE NEWS: UPDATE: 2 Men Shot Outside South Bay High School Football Playoff Game

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)