The East Carbon City Council is looking to bring back the Cinco de Mayo celebration back under the umbrella of the city.
The council heard comments from Carbon County Commissioner John Jones about the importance of the event for the area by bringing in money and tourism. Jones, a resident of Helper City, said the Art Festival is a big event held yearly in Helper which attracts tourism and brings vendors to the event, helping out the businesses and the community in Helper. The cost to help fund the event is lower because people donate many hours of "kind service" working for no money, Jones said.
Since the Cinco de Mayo celebration was not under the city's umbrella, problems with funding and having the event be covered by insurance were two of the main issues the event committee has dealt with.
"We're passing up an opportunity to promote this event," Jones said. "It's a great way to bring people into the community."
Jones is concerned that the event is not being promoted to its full extent. Letting the vendors know what date the event is and promoting to as many vendors as possible is important because of what they contribute to the event and the money that is brought into the local economy, Jones said.
"Fliers should be going out to vendors to promote the event earlier," Jones said. "In January, vendors are setting the pace for their year and they are looking at their schedule saying 'I am going to be here one day and somewhere else the next."
Councilman Darrell Valdez said that the Cinco de Mayo committee has worked really hard in the past to be able to put on a good show, but they have struggled a lot.
"We've tried to get the best bands and get the best vendors to come here," Valdez said. "We had one heck of a time getting out there, getting donations and getting help for this event. But nobody recognizes us because we are just a group."
The Cinco de Mayo event has a budget of about $5,000, according to committee members. The committee said they are a little short of the $5,000 needed for the event.
There was also discussion about where the money gathered from the event would go. The council discussed putting the money into a separate account not available for use on anything other than Cinco de Mayo. Jones said the Arts Festival has its own account where the money is put into and what is left over is used to help fund the event for the following year.
The Cinco de Mayo committee has applied for 501(C)(3) status, which means the group would be classified as a non-profit organization working as a public charity.
Because the group was not under the umbrella of the city, the insurance costs were much higher. Councilman David Avery said that the only thing the council can do to solve the issue is to bring the group back into the city and they will be insured.
Councilman Andy Urbanik suggested that the committee put together a more thorough plan in advance of the event which would help in securing funding to hold the event in the city.
The council passed the unanimous motion of bringing the group back under the umbrella of the city pending final approval from City Attorney Jeremy Humes. The next meeting for East Carbon will take place on May 11.