We asked. You voted. After receiving an equal number of votes in favor of Grant Street and Lafayette Avenue, it was unanimously decided among those present Tuesday evening that this year’s festival will take place on Lafayette Avenue at Grant.
Thank you for sending in your opinions as well as your votes! We received some truly thought-provoking replies that we took into account. So, to return the favor, allow us to explain our decision.
Our main reason for choosing to remain on Lafayette this year was logistical. First: for a festival as planning-intensive as Taste of Diversity, January is very late in the game to move a June event. Second: the challenges a new location would present require a larger workforce of volunteers than currently sit on our planning committee. If you are interested in volunteering, we can always use you! Third: Making the move while taking into account the needs of each Grant St. proprietor between Lafayette and Auburn would require a high level of cooperation that we have not yet secured. At this point in the year, we just had to make a decision.
But wait, Grant supporters! Though you didn’t carry the decision this week, this year’s festival planners will respond to your concerns in two ways: first, we will commission our outreach committee to strengthen the festival’s ties to Grant Street. This may involve decorated storefronts, a take-off on Christmastime’s “passport” activity to draw festival attendees into shops, a scavenger hunt, or planned raffles. In any case, it definitely involves communication with those who own and operate our Grant stores!
Second, we will appoint a committee to look into the logistics involved in moving to Grant St. for 2013. For this exploratory committee to be successful, we will need a group of local, committed individuals to step forward. Volunteers do not necessarily need to have a history with the festival but do need a strong work ethic and a commitment to the continued revival of the Grant St. business district. Moving the location of a festival is not an easy task, but if we come together to build the breadth and depth of our committee, it’s certainly possible for 2013!
If you have concerns, queries, or — most especially — a desire to volunteer with us, please contact us! We look forward to hearing from you.
With thanks for your support,