It’s a concept that most would agree is needed to attract visitors here so they will hopefully spend some money with our merchants.
Hamtramck has been pretty good at promoting itself with its Paczki Day party and the Labor Day Festival. Besides those two major events, we have the St. Florian Strawberry Festival, what appears to have become an annual Bangladesh Festival and the occasional Jos. Campau sidewalk sale.
Should the city have more festivals and what role should it play?
Mayor Karen Majewski thinks the more festivals – be they private or city-sponsored — the merrier. We agree, which is why it’s curious that when two volunteers stepped forward to take over the Labor Day Festival and quickly turn around and propose an Oktoberfest-like event, the slings and arrows came out.
Such was the nonsense at Tuesday’s City Council meeting where some councilmembers were highly critical of festival organizers Kathleen Bittner and Rachel Karpinski Srodek. The two saved this year’s Labor Day festival and not only save it but expanded it.
It was during that festival weekend the two thought why not do a city “Harvest Festival”?
The event was OK’d Tuesday night but it was painful to hear the things being said. Those who run for office always promise to work together and promote the community and then when elected they look for all sorts of ways to block the effort.
It’s a no brainer. Many cities hold an Oktoberfest of some sort, and Hamtramck is long overdue to host one as well. The event will be under a tent that will be located in the city parking lot between Polonia Restaurant and Polish Village Café – the perfect setting for a Hamtramck-style fall festival.
Yes, it’s true the organizers put the cart before the horse — so to speak — by not first getting Council’s OK to stage the event. But they did get the green light from the city manager.
Getting the council to sign on was thought to be easy. You can read more about the blow-by-blow account of how this went down at the council meeting in our new column, “City Hall Insider.”
The point is, the city stands to further attract more visitors and get the word out that this is a fun city. The small price the city pays for hosting such an event pays off in the long run.
The endless nitpicking that goes on is part of a mindset among some in this community that is frustrating and turns off would-be volunteers. Wouldn’t it be refreshing if we had people on board who think of ways to improve the city instead of people who think of a thousand reasons why you shouldn’t or can’t?