Editorial: Should Elburn’s Day in the Park continue?

By on September 23, 2010

The Elburn Chamber of Commerce announced last week that it would indefinitely suspend the annual Day in the Park celebration, including the fireworks.

The decision was based on a combination of factors, each of which boiled down to not having adequate funding to continue them. In our current economy, pre-event donations from local businesses and fundraising activities with the public were not able to generate adequate funding, and the rainy weather on the day of the event led to far smaller funds raised at this year’s Day in the Park than expected or hoped for by the chamber.

In fact, after all was said and done, the event lost approximately $5,000, and as Gary Augustine wrote in a letter to the editor last week, “… that is beyond the resources of the chamber to sustain.”

Another challenge for the event has been a potential lack of understanding about what the event actually is and who puts it together.

Anecdotally, we often field questions from the public that suggest that many in the area believe the event and/or the fireworks are put on by, or financially supported by, the village itself. Other than approving the permit applications, the village plays no role in the Day in the Park or the event-concluding fireworks.

Rather, the event is planned and organized by Chamber volunteers; and the funding comes from donations, sponsorships, pre-event fundraising activities and the event itself.

We certainly understand the chamber’s decision to put the event on hold at least until the economy recovers. At the same time, we also would like to know the public’s general view of the event and if they would like to see it continue.

If there is sufficient public support for the Day in the Park and fireworks, we hope that a local group takes up Augustine’s suggestion that someone else could host the event in the future.

Let us know your views about the Day in the Park; visit www.elburnherald.com and vote in our weekly web poll. What do you hope to see for the future of the Elburn Day in the Park? Would you like to see it continue and organized by a local group, or would you rather see it remain on hold until the local economy revives?