In its Tuesday workshop, the Glendale City Council will review how last winter’s city-sponsored downtown events and festivals did and preview the event schedule for the upcoming winter, including possible changes to help combat the spread of the coronavirus.
The workshop starts at 12:30 p.m. at the Glendale Civic Center, 5750 W. Glenn Drive. The meeting will be broadcast on public access Channel 11 and streamed on the city’s website, YouTube channel and Facebook page.
Staff’s report mentioned a few potential changes that could be made to the upcoming event season to combat the spread of COVID-19: allowing fewer vendors in Murphy Park, installing hand washing and sanitizing stations near restrooms, eliminating children’s rides and banning the sale of alcohol to avoid the need for a fenced-in area for event-goers to drink, enabling the crowd to spread out more.
City staff’s report shows that the four events the city put on last winter all came in under budget, totaling about $54,000 under the combined $338,000 budget for the events. The four events also generated about $98,000 in revenue. Other expenses the city incurred for festivals were $423,000 to pay the salaries of four full-time special event staffers and $188,000 budgeted to pay for the Christmas light display in downtown in December. Staff’s report did not mention what the actual expenses of the light display were last year compared to the budget.
The planned to stretch its festival season into April last year with a new event, Live! @ Murphy Park, which planned to feature free music in the city’s downtown amphitheater Thursdays through Sunday in April. The event, with a budget of $90,000 was cancelled due to the coronavirus.
Glendale’s winter event schedule starts the Friday after Thanksgiving each year with the Glendale Glitters Spectacular Weekend, a weekend event that includes the lighting of 1.6 million Christmas lights in and around downtown. This year, the weekend falls on Friday-Saturday, Nov. 27-28. The lights turn on each night in December, with some smaller weekend events, and remain lit until the Glendale Glitter & Glow finale event, schedule for Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, that includes dozens of hot air balloons glowing on the ground. On Valentine’s Day weekend, Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 13-14, 2021, chocolate vendors, wine vendors and other food and drink vendors will come to Murphy Park in downtown for The Chocolate Experience. The season schedule ends with what will be the first iteration of the city’s Live! @ Murphy Park event, which the city is considering extending to Thursdays through Sundays in March as well as April for next year.