Tuesday, October 20, 2009

2010 Venetian Night Gets the Axe?

The Summer is over which means the cold is coming. For more bad news, we just saw an article today that said Mayor Daley's 2010 budget will likely propose cutting the popular summertime event, Venetian Night:
Venetian Night — Chicago’s annual parade of illuminated boat floats that draws up to 500,000 people to the lakefront — could be sunk, thanks to cost-cutting tied to Mayor Daley’s 2010 budget.

Special Events Director Megan McDonald said the decision to end a time-honored tradition that dates back to the days of former Mayor Richard J. Daley was dictated by a decline in corporate sponsorships.

Chicago’s production costs were $100,000. But that taxpayer tab was multiplied by the cost of police, fire, traffic and sanitation needed to stage the event.

Other potential changes to some other summer festivals that are close to the Sloop:

The sponsorship drought will also force the city to shave another day off an already reduced Jazz Fest - from three days to two - and move the Country Music Fest, Celtic Fest and Viva Latin from Grant Park to Millenium Park.

(image courtesy of Chicago Sun-Times)


Anonymous said...

Short sided IMO. Any smart sponsor looking for instant name recognition would pick this one up in a hear beat.

Assume that only have of the people spend $50 for dinner, parking, booze, etc. the sales tax money is probably near $1.5MM at least. A great deal of people in the loop host parties for this event, spending money at Jewel, Whole Foods, the liquor store, etc. for this event, and that assumes you don't event land a few thousand Hotel rooms.

There is money for a weekly Maxwell street fest but not for this? Wow just wow!

Lance Uppercut said...

Comparing "Venetian Night" to the Maxwell Street Market may be the single most idiotic rumination I've read on this blog to date.


Anonymous said...

What's your point? The point is that they have money, police resources, and other physical plant tin what amounts to be a weekly "undocumented resident fest", where also much of the business is a cash, under the table - no tax revenue kind, yet they can't find money to host a world class event.

Lance Uppercut said...

I'd love to exchange thoughts with you on this subject, let me know when you have one.

Anonymous said...

Where are gang bangers and illegal immigrants going to "buy" their dry goods if Maxwell Street closes?

Anonymous said...

So Lance, what is your point or issue with what Anon #1 said?

Anonymous said...

i'm more p!ssed about mayor mental midget eliminating the outdoor movies. daley wants to connect with the common man? he should downgrade his salary to minimum wage status for a year or two.

Anonymous said...

you want to talk about "short sided", the city is trimming the music fests and that's just dumb. people from all over the world attend those events and Chicago is supposed to be known for its music heritage.

that venetian boat thing is just fluffy and stupid anyway.

wednesday night fireworks at the pier should probably get cut too.

resident said...

Want to know the difference between 'Maxwell Market' and 'Venitian Night'?: the latter is an actual money-maker.

Anonymous said...

The bottom line is cutting Venetian Night only saves the city $300,000. The budget gap is $500,000,000. This is just Mayor Daley playing king. The Italians are always the first to get the axe in Chicago. Probably because Irish women love them!

Carl said...

The Maxwell St. market is pretty cool IMO.

It reflects genuine indigenous culture and provides an actual service. Can that hokey venetian night make the same claim?

The city makes a direct profit from the market in the form of permits/licenses. Very little public resources go into the support of this venture.

I heard the city also cut the entire outdoor movie program too. You wanna talk about a ton of lost revenue . . .