Pumpkin Daze no closer to a decision

Photo by earl53 via morgueFile.com

Photo by earl53 via morgueFile.com

At tonight’s Town of Salem Board of Supervisors meeting, the subject of Pumpkin Daze was discussed.  While there were positive comments about the event, it was still not fully decided where the event was going to be held.  There is a meeting this Wednesday to further discuss the event, and the board will vote on the issue at the next town meeting.

Board supervisor Michael Culat asked the rest of the board for their opinions.  Diann Tesar, town board chairperson, stated that she wanted the event to go forward.  Board supervisor Dennis Faber asked if a place had been secured yet, and the answer was no.  Culat said that the only two logical places were the Kenosha County Fairgrounds, in Wilmot, or the Salem Highway/Fire Building at 11252 – 254th Court (off of Highway C), in  Trevor, where the inaugural event was held last year.  Faber said that if the Fairgrounds were available, that he’d prefer going with the plan presented by Culat.  He called that Pumpkin Daze “A.”  If the Fire Building were available, then he’d prefer an abbreviated version of Pumpkin Daze “A”, which he called Pumpkin Daze “B.”  The second plan would exclude the vendor fair.  “It would be easier and less costly,” said Faber.

Culat’s proposed budget included a 25% increase in attendance over last year.  For example, he said that the 50/50 Raffle raised $2,000 last year.  This year, he proposed that it would raise $3,000.  Last year, there were 70 vendors; this year, the proposal calls for 75 vendors.  Last year, the tables cost $40; this year, the proposal calls for raising that to $50/table.

“Taking the vendors out changes the whole equation,” said Culat.  He felt that his proposed budget would make the event break even.  Faber said that “the vendors brought food traffic, but along with that comes increased expense.”  Culat said that “each part feeds the other.”  Faber then said, “We can’t be all things to all people.”  Tesar said that “this event brings the community together.”  Culat said, “Nothing we do will be for everybody.  We’re looking to have an event that will satisfy the majority.  Last year, we put the event together in 60 days, and we lost some money.  This year, we are projecting a profit of $2,700.  Other revenue-making ideas such as the sale of t-shirts is not included in this projection.  Plus, we would need to pay the band $3,000.”  (This is $1,200 more than was spent on the band last year.)

The discussion turned to the proposed band for this year’s event, Bella Cain.    “Bella Cain is a newly formed, young, high-energy, and super talented seven-piece Top 40 Country group delivering a non-stop and explosive performance to every show,” according to www.MilwaukeeRocks.com.  “Based out of Wisconsin and performing the ‘hottest’ new country music on radio today, Bella Cain is winning the hearts of fans all over the Midwest.”

Tesar said that “only a couple of people complained about the venue last year.  There were more positives than negatives.  But, we pushed the limits of space.  Parking was a major drawback.”

Faber stated that he feels very confident with the band, Bella Cain.  He said that he things the band will make the event very successful.  Kyle Christensen, running for office on April 2nd, was in the audience.  He stated that one of the members of the band called him earlier today, and they need to know if Pumpkin Daze is going to hire them.  Christensen stated that they said that they are getting offers for more money.  Culat wanted to know if they needed up-front money, but the answer was no.  Christensen said that he just doesn’t think that the board should keep stringing them along.  The meeting this Wednesday should provide more concrete answers.

They are scheduled to vote on this issue at the next town meeting, which will take place on April 8th, two weeks from tonight.

Culat even said that he “would go out on a limb and would front the $3,000 for the band, if that’s what it would take.”  Christensen said that he believes he’s heard some positive discussion tonight, and that he would relay that to the band member who called him.  He thinks that having the vote on April 8th and having a firm decision on that date should be sufficient.

The date set for this year’s event is October 19th.


One Comment

  1. The crafters made the event possible says:

    The crafter base has been created over the last 4 or 5 years by a few employees of the town (not a board member among them!) and has been growing and growing. I don’t think that the fan base of the crafters being taken from the program is a good thing. Plans for their participation should be happening now. Vendors have schedules. If they think that the event isn’t going to include them, they will go elsewhere. I think eliminating them will reduce attendance and the participation. If transportation is the issue, deal with the transportation issue and don’t upset what worked. Get some buses. Allow a car drop off area and then a bus delivery for the drivers after they park and return. Get several small busses… Allow for a car pickup area for the majority of people… Work with the school and Horn and Sharing Center for use of their lots. Make it a requirement for vendors to park in specific locations DURING THE EVENT. Change the parking on the dead end street to PULL IN for the event and one way. Put a person out there in the beginning or the ‘parking area’ and place a sign and instruct parking. Putting the event at the County Fair grounds will not, in my opinion, build community at Salem. I doubt Bristol progress days would work well at the county fair grounds. I doubt that Paddock Octoberfest would work well at the Fair grounds. Just because the grounds happen to be physically in the town doesn’t mean that most people will gravitate to the fairgrounds for this event. BELLA CANE isn’t the only group around here. And perhaps having more than one group might be the way to go. Sounds like the board and the parks committee should be attending the SRIM fest at MARS soon. Sound at the stage area during the day wasn’t fair to the vendors at those tables.

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