Danedri Thompson
The Festival on the Trails committee seeks to add a day of festivities to the annual event. The festival is typically a one-day, Saturday-only affair, but organizers hope to start the fun a little earlier next summer.
The committee requested support for the festival expansion from the Gardner City Council members during an Oct. 7 meeting.
Though the event is privately organized by a committee, the city generally provides support for the Festival on the Trails with additional police protection and blocking downtown roads for the event.
Council member Larry Fotovich asked what adding a day would cost the city in terms of staff and police overtime.
“Historically, we haven’t tracked those expenses,” Cheryl Harrison-Lee, city administrator, told the council.
Fotovich said the expenses should be documented somewhere in the budget.
“It seems like we ought to be able to put together numbers and put (the expenses) towards an account,” Fotovich said.
Council member Heath Freeman said the city doesn’t track additional expenses for things like the annual Boo Bash event or marathons and 5K events in town. He called the Festival on the Trails assistance manageable.
“I really think you’re opening Pandora’s Box,” Freeman said.
A majority of the council agreed to offer city support for adding a day to the Festival on the Trails. The annual event includes concerts, a car show, a chili cook-off and a kids zone. Last year’s festival was in June.