With time running out to organize the Stonewall festival in June, city officials may reduce the annual event from two days to one.
The recommendation to scale back the event came from Corrie Boyd at the city commission meeting on March 10. “I’m not knocking anybody . . . we just don’t have the resources [for both days],” said Boyd, a member of the city’s Stonewall board. “I don’t want to see this event suffer.”
Earlier this year, the Island City Foundation, which is comprised of city commissioners, voted to have the city organize the event itself rather than let a private organization run the event. That decision came because officials want to bring stability to the event. In the last few years, multiple organizations have run the event. None of which, for various reasons, have done it more than two years. Pride South Florida, which ran it last year, offered to do so again but was turned down by the city.
City Manager Joseph Gallegos echoed Boyd and said the cost for security alone for two days would be $30,000. Cutting the festival to one day would cut the cost of security in half. “We don’t want to overstretch ourselves and go into debt,” said Gallegos. He added that the city could return to a two-day event next year if it has more time to solicit sponsors.
Boyd said his board would start asking sponsors as soon as the city officially decides how it wants to proceed. “We’ve lost a month already.”
Commissioners will make a decision at their next regular commission meeting – March 24.
“We got started late. The last thing I want is to have an event that’s not safe,” Mayor Gary Resnick said. “We need to nail this down.”