Next year’s Labor Day Festival a go

By Charles Sercombe

City Manager Bill Cooper said he would welcome the organizers of this year’s Hamtramck Labor Day Festival to work their magic again next year.

“Hell yes I’d bring them back,” said Cooper on Monday, the first day back on the job after taking a vacation last week.

Festival organizers Kathleen Bittner and Rachel Karpinski Srodek have been praised by city officials and residents for stepping up to save the festival after the city abruptly announced it would cancel the event just nine weeks before it was to take place.

The pair managed to not only save the festival but also bring in more vendors. They have also shocked city officials by announcing the festival actually made a whopping $30,000 profit.

The one subject that Cooper and Bittner and Srodek differ is whether the profit will be used to offset police overtime costs.

Bittner told The Review last week that since the city had already budgeted for police overtime there was no need to reimburse the city.

Cooper said that’s open for interpretation and said it’s likely that at least half the cost of overtime will be paid by festival profits. Cooper said he did not know the final cost for OT.

The remainder of the money will be placed into the city’s special events fund.

Bittner said she and Srodek are already planning for an “Oktoberfest” on Oct. 16-17. Cooper said the pair has his blessing.

“Go for it, it’s worth a shot,” Cooper said.

Cooper added that Bittner and Srodek have already volunteered to organize the city’s annual Paczki Day celebration.

“If we can get something every two or three months in town, that would be tremendous,” Cooper said.

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