Events should continue

By Baker City Herald Editorial Board January 15, 2014 08:49 am

It would seem at first glance that it’s been a tough run these past several months for Baker City events.

Last August the Chamber of Commerce announced that it would no longer sponsor Miners Jubilee.

And now Historic Baker City Inc., which puts on the Taste of Baker, the Christmas parlor tour and the Christmas parade, is set to lose about half of its revenue through the downtown Economic Improvement District.

Yet we remain confident that there are those among Baker’s business community and volunteers who are numerous and energetic enough to ensure that those events which residents truly value will continue to happen, even if the names of the organizers and sponsors change.

This newspaper has already committed to help schedule vendors in Geiser-Pollman Park during Miners Jubilee this July.

And several other volunteers and groups will handle other events during that citywide festival, including Bull and Bronc riding, Mining Exhibitions, Quilt Show and Parade.

We believe much the same can happen with any other event that is struggling.

Here’s our idea:

First, we need a community organization that will serve as a sort of clearinghouse both for events that lack a dedicated sponsor and to assist with coordination and funding for other events.

This organization’s board should include representation from the business community, volunteers and service groups,  the county’s contracted marketing director and representatives from the city, county and law enforcement.

And that’s by no means a complete list.

The organization could then appoint or recruit committees that would work on specific events.

We’d also like to see some of the money available for such projects be offered as grants to local non-profit groups in exchange for working to organize and staff community events.

In that way the events could continue, and also serve as a fundraiser for, to name just one example, student groups such as FBLA, FFA or the National Honor Society.