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City to Promote More Community Events, Plans to Add New Ones

College Park Day

At this week’s meeting, the Council will discuss the City-Sponsored Events at this week’s meeting. The City annually hosts approximately thirteen events for the community– four family events, seven family holiday events, and two festivals. Certain departments and committees have been assigned responsibility for specific events and there has been limited overall coordination and promotion of the City’s events. Staff work with several Boards and Committees that are advisory and provide recommendations for some of the events. In addition to staff from several departments (and volunteers) who plan and manage the City events, the City annually budgets approximately $137,000. In 2018, the City Communications Office assumed responsibility for College Park Day and has made a very successful event even better. In late 2019, the City hired its first Event Planner to help improve our current events and create new events to meet the needs and interests of our growing and changing community.

The primary purpose of City hosted events is to build community through inclusive activities that appeal to a wide range of residents. Some events are also designed to bring new visitors to the City which can lead to an economic benefit. The City’s goal is to produce events that are professional, cohesive, and reflect the community through participation and attendance.

Surveys and after-event analyses by staff have provided important information regarding the types of events that residents desire and feedback on our current events. Staff has begun and will continue to collect data for all events to gauge residents’ participation, economic benefit and attendees’ feedback. Based on this information, staff is proposing to add several new events and to change some of our current events to better reflect the community’s stated interests.

A new concert series is recommended–the Third Thursday Lake Artemesia Concert Series. This series will occur on the third Thursday evening in June through September in partnership with Berwyn Heights. The event will be a “bring-your-own-chair/blanket” style and will feature local bands and food and beverage vendors. The City is proposing a combined total budget of $1,500 per concert, with the City providing $3,000 for four concerts.

Another new proposal is a series of events highlighting City attractions like Herbert Wells Ice Rink, Linson Splash pool, the UMD Observatory, The Clarice, and others. These events would target different age groups and be held throughout the year to better appeal to a wider resident audience.

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