Thursday, May 4, 2017

Who Got the Money in 2017

The Common Council Arts, Entertainment & Tourism Committee met last night, and the main agenda item was divvying up the $20,000 budgeted by the City to support festivals and events that benefit city residents and the economy. All but one of the ten events for which funds were sought were events that have been awarded money in the past. The single newcomer was Hudson Summer Fest, a day-long music festival being planned by Chad Weckler for Saturday, August 19, in Henry Hudson Riverfront Park.

The aldermen, although expressing support for the concept, had problems with the idea of giving taxpayer money to an event that would charge admission. (Weckler indicated that the early bird ticket price would be $12.50; the price of tickets at the gate had not yet been determined.) A question was also raised about whether closing a public park for an event that charged admission was even permitted. (Although a mass gathering permit has been filed with the City, the committee was uncertain if the permit had been approved or not.) Weckler sought $5,000 for Hudson Summer Fest; he was granted nothing.

The following events, however, will be receiving financial support from the City. (The number in parentheses indicates the amount granted to the event in 2016)
  • Bangladeshi Festival--$2,000 ($2,000)
  • Black Arts Festival--$3,325 ($3,000)
  • Promise Neighborhood Community Block Party--$1,325 ($1,000)
  • Flag Day Parade--$3,000 ($3,000)
  • Halloween Parade--$850 ($500)
  • Bindlestiff Summer Cirkus--$500 ($500)
  • Winter Walk (Hudson Opera House)--$5,000 ($4,000)
  • Hudson Bed Races--$1,500 ($1,000)
  • OutHudson LGBTQ Parade--$2,500 ($2,000)
The Hudson Bed Races, an event that revives a not-so-old (1980s), fairly short-lived, but fondly remembered Hudson tradition, drew criticism last year--its first year--for closing down two blocks of Warren Street on a Saturday in September.

This year, the plan is to re-locate the bed races, which will take place on Saturday, September 23, to either Front Street or Partition Street.

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