Parkland officials favor smaller events to big ones

Small is beautiful for Parkland officials when it comes to city events.

At a recent workshop, where they discussed adding to special events organized by the city, the officials were unanimous in their opinion that the new events, if any, shouldn’t be at the cost of the smaller events that the city currently has. A final decision on the issue will be made at a future commission meeting.

The city last year spent $187,300 on special events last year and might spend an additional $50,000 this year. One of the options provided by staff was reducing the number of concerts, which are small events, from the current nine to four, thus saving $30,000. The city would then be able to organize two larger, non-concert events annually, each costing $50,000, said Philip Biscorner, director of parks and recreation.

Mayor Michael Udine made his preference clear. “Over the last few years, we went away from the real big events,” he said. “Last year, we did some big events because it was the city’s 50th anniversary. I like more of the smaller events like the concerts; you get a real good turnout. I wouldn’t reduce the number of concerts.”

City Manager Caryn Gardner-Young said that organizing larger, non-concert events would increase the chances of the city generating some revenue. Big events present more opportunities for sponsorships, Commissioner Dave Rosenof said.

“Right now, we are at an advantage,” Commissioner Mark Weissman said. “People are building and would like to get their name out there.”

Sponsorships are hard to come by, Udine said. Instead of organizing stand-alone, larger events, the city should think about organizing them along with the farmers market, he added.

“I, too, prefer smaller events,” Vice Mayor Christine Hunschofsky said. “You usually get to meet and talk to people. Some of our events have become habits for our residents. It is not a hometown feel with some of the big events.”

Weissman wasn’t in favor of officials micro-managing the city. “Our job is to set the budget; let staff come up with the decisions,” he said. “It would be great if they can find some additional revenue.”

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