First of Many Festival Cuts?
Venetian Night — Chicago’s annual parade of illuminated boat floats that draws up to 500,000 people to the lakefront — could be sunk, thanks to cost-cutting tied to Mayor Daley’s 2010 budget.
Special Events Director Megan McDonald said the decision to end a time-honored tradition that dates back to the days of former Mayor Richard J. Daley was dictated by a decline in corporate sponsorships.
Chicago’s production costs were $100,000. But that taxpayer tab was multiplied by the cost of police, fire, traffic and sanitation needed to stage the event.
Many of these fest are just another opportunity for the mayor to plaster his name on things. Corporate sponsorship seems like the wave of the future of these festivals. Charge for the permits and have them hire their own garbage pick up, traffic control, security and such. We seem to recall the FOP pushing for some sort of "side-job" listing for these sort of events years ago. Maybe it's time to push again?
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