Festival of Lights takes Shape
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE BELGRADE NEWS - CLICK HERE TO SEE ORIGINAL
Written by: Freddy Monares, staff writer
October 5, 2017
The Belgrade Community Coalition released plans for its first take over of the 2017 Festival of Lights.
At the Belgrade City Council meeting, Ali Vasarella and Brenda Baker, representatives of BCC, requested council members to approve road closures to allow for fireworks, a 5K race and other activities during the hours of the event. The coalition is a non-profit with a mission to cultivate a stronger sense of community in the city.
Last year’s event saw little participation from businesses in the area, resulting in fewer events around town than usual, people have said. At the beginning of last year, Belgrade Chamber of Commerce Director Debra Youngberg said she hoped another organization would be interested in trying to ignite some enthusiasm for the event.
Ted Barkley, Belgrade city manager, said the city was excited to see what the non-profit does for the city’s festival.
“They’re bringing new energy to civic life in Belgrade,” Barkley said.
At the council meeting, he said he needed to schedule a sit down with the organizers to mull over some of the details that were mostly traffic related. The group also needed to provide the city with a certificate of insurance before plans can be approved.
“There are some questions we have that need to be answered about how traffic control will be handled,” he said.
Organizers requested the closure of Main Street, from Weaver Street to Kennedy Street. The closure would allow businesses to set up tables and serve warm refreshments and live music at the center of the event. The festival is also slated to include a fireworks show and a library book sale at the end of the night.
“There’s nothing here that could be a show stopper at all,” Barkley said.
A meeting between the BCC and the city is likely to take place early next week to iron out the details and answer any questions the city may have, Barkley said.