Hamtramck officials have known the city is facing a budget deficit. That fact hasn’t changed but what has is the severity. The city needs to find a way to plug a $2 million deficit by a combination of increased revenues and cuts.
On the plate is possibly canceling the annual Labor Day Festival. Hamtramck is not alone in making such a cut. The City of Troy recently canceled its historic city festival. The Cityfest in Detroit won’t take place this year.
The Arts, Beats and Eats festival has been moved from Pontiac to Royal Oak in an effort to scale back and attract more people.
Hamtramck needs to keep the Labor Day Festival going. For the last two years the festival has grown in quality and popularity. The city would take an awfully big step backwards if it cancels the festival while it’s on the verge of taking a major leap forward.
While there is indeed a financial crisis facing us, the city must still invest in itself, to promote itself in order to attract investors as well as provide community pride.
There is one funding source the city should consider to tap into: its people. Why not hold various fundraisers to help offset festival costs?
The city’s bars, for instance, could hold a bar crawl to attract visitors into town as well as raise money. The churches and mosques could also hold fundraisers.
During the festival there could be donation boxes installed throughout the festival grounds. It’s not unreasonable to ask visitors to pitch in a few dollars considering that admission is free.
The festival has a long connection with the city and considering the gloomy economic times, it will help boost the town’s spirits.