Festivals Seek Money to Close Funding Gaps

Throwing a good party is expensive.

The 2012 Cullman Oktoberfest recently asked the Cullman City Council for a $75,000 increase in funding to expand the event. In 2011, Cullman contributed just $6,000 to a budget of $48,000 for the 2011 Oktoberfest. In 2012, the organizers would like to work with an overall budget of $186,000 so that the festivities can be expanded. Prior to 2011, Cullman was the world’s only dry Oktoberfest; alcohol was not served at the event. In 2011, on the 30th anniversary, beer was served for the first time. The week long Oktoberfest in Alabama is scheduled to start October 6th.

That is the second festival that I have seen looking for money recently. The organizer of the 2012 Keene Pumpkin Festival floated the idea of charging a $5 admission to attend the New Hampshire festival in order to make up for a funding shortfall. Last year, the festival raised $222,000 but cost approximately $290,000. The organizer covered the $70,000 difference. The plan to charge an admission fee was quickly rejected by city officials who found it impractical to charge for an event held downtown.

Budgets are tight in today’s economy. Let’s hope that these festivals can find the money to continue with their present party plans.

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