Is there too much festival fun taking up park space?
The fight over festivals continues to spark debate in Traverse City.
City leaders will continue to discuss the many festivals and events slated each year in Traverse City parks at Monday night's meeting.
On Sept. 3, the City Commission listened to public comment regarding the Bayside Music Festival and the number of festivals held in Traverse City. Among the issues raising concern include noise complaints and the amount of festivals taking place in the Open Space and other parks.
The debate kicked into high gear after Traverse City resident Lou Colombo put in a request to rent the Open Space for all the summer weekends not associated with the National Cherry Festival and the Film Festival. In the permit request, Colombo called the event "Quiet Festival 2014â?? and stated nobody would be attending.
Colombo said he is willing to pay five thousand dollars to reserve all the summer weekends besides those of the Cherry Festival and the Film Festival. Although the city clerk said the request was denied, the application has brought up the issue of how Traverse City public areas are used for special events.
The list of what is considered "High Impact Events" held in various parks in 2013 include:
TART Trails Recycle A Bicycle Swap, which was held May 31-June 2 at the Old Town Parking Deck
The National Cherry Festival, held June 24-July 6 at the Open Space
The Film Festival, which took place July 30-Aug. 4 at the Open Space
The Traverse City Music Festival, held Aug, 14-18 at the Open Space
The TC Waterman Challenge & Expo, held at the Open Space from Aug. 16-18
HANDDS to the Rescue, held at Hull Park from Aug. 16-17
The Bayside Festival held at the Open Space from Aug. 29-Sept. 2
United Way Day of Caring, which took place Sept. 12 at the Open Space
Taste of Traverse held at the Open Space from Sept. 13-15
The events bring in money to Traverse City through application and permit fees as well as tourism dollars. According to
documents provided to the City Commission
, any out-of-pocket expenses for Traverse City, such as street cleanup, police, fire and trash removal, are also reimbursed by the event holder.
According to the Traverse City Parks and Recreation Department, there are a total of 89 applications approved for park use for "Low Impact Events" for 2013. The events include, wedding ceremonies, fund raising walks, birthday parties, family picnics and church events. The majority of the low impact events are for smaller parks such as: F&M, the Senior Center beach area, Hull, Sunset, Hannah, Bryant and Clinch Parks.
The issues up for discussion include ways to combat noise complaints, frequency of events, fees surrounding park rentals and the amount of trash left behind from festival goers.
The Traverse City Commission meeting begins at 7 p.m. Monday at the Governmental Center.
Do you think there are too many festivals in Traverse City? Tell us "Your Point of View" by voting in the poll below and leaving your comments.