Now that the Hamtramck Labor Day Festival is over, it’s time to reflect.
We have said this before, but we think it’s worth repeating. The festival needs to be city-owned, or at least financially backed by the city. The festival draws in thousands of visitors each year, and it serves as an ambassador for Hamtramck.
It is priceless promotion for the city.
Festival organizers, who are unpaid volunteers, shouldn’t be burdened with chasing down sponsors to help foot the bills. Should we allow the future of this festival to survive on the whims of sponsors and attendance?
We know the city is financially strapped, but this event is too important to fend for itself.
It costs about $80,000 a year to run the festival. That’s a drop in the bucket of the city’s $15 million a year budget.
It could certainly come under the jurisdiction of the Downtown Development Authority.
The festival needs financial stability, and it needs to be taken up to another level. It faces fierce competition from Oakland County’s Arts, Beats & Eats and the downtown Jazz Festival.
Hamtramck has so much to offer it’s a shame that we treat the festival like an unwelcomed guest. We need to take greater pride in this festival and step it up.