Paramount concern remains Festival of Flowers' success
Monday, January 13, 2014 7:40 PM
There might be a bit of angst or hand-wringing going on in and around Greenwood after Monday morning's front-page story about the Festival of Flowers, but we urge everyone to remain calm. No decision was reached
At issue is some preliminary discussions that took place regarding the possibility the City of Greenwood would take the reins of the festival, which has, for years, operated under the Greenwood Chamber's umbrella.
No hostile takeover is looming on the horizon. The city is not sneaking into the Chamber's garden and picking its flowers. Again, these are merely preliminary discussions initiated by city staff. The 2014 festival is well underway in the planning stages and will once again be orchestrated by the team at the Chamber.
So why have the discussion at all? The city is interested in taking over the festival because many of the annual event's activities take place within the city limits. Plus, the many thousands of visitors who attend the various festival functions spend a good bit of their time and money in the city, lodging in city hotels and eating in city restaurants.
And the city is no stranger to festival planning and execution. Its Festival of Discovery and Greenwood Blues Cruise is a tremendous and growing success, which is not to say or imply the Festival of Flowers is poorly planned and executed. In fact, we'd guess the festival's overhaul and fine-tuning the past several years is what makes it all the more attractive to city staff and council.
Under Kay Self and now Ellesor Holder, the Festival of Flowers underwent something of a renaissance, a facelift, if you will. Where once the festival grew many tentacles and spread out during the course of nearly the entire month of June, there has been an effort of late to rein in some events and make the festival more focused, more concentrated on a main weekend as opposed to events being sprinkled here and there, on weekdays and weekends throughout the month.
From our vantage point, a couple of things come to mind. One is that no one, including city staff and council, wants to see anything but continued growth and success for the nearly 50-year-old Festival of Flowers. Two, there is nothing wrong with discussions such as these taking place, provided both parties are at least willing to take to the roundtable and weigh options.
It can be reincarnated, reinvigorated and reinvented, but at the end of the day, all anyone really wants is to ensure visitors to Greenwood, as well as Greenwood residents and business people, have a blooming good time each and every year the Festival of Flowers takes place.