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Input sought

The Golden City Days committee is seeking out input from the community and the business community on next year's festival.

By the Golden City Days Committee

The Golden City Days Committee thanks the many citizens who didn’t let the dreary weather deter them from joining us for the parade and festivities.

One can never predict nor prevent foul weather but the show did go on. We regret that the inflatable fun park had to be cancelled but the impending rain would have ruined it. The alternate indoor site did not work out either.

The committee has been hearing various comments around town and in media articles regarding the location of the Golden City Days parade and events. The committee had several discussions surrounding the issue of GCD locations last fall and again in January.

After moving the events and parade last year due to downtown construction, the committee had a great deal of positive feedback from all participants, vendors, and families.

Some of the reasons for the decision to continue to locate the GCD events and parade in the arena parking lot and the Second Avenue area included:

• families were pleased to attend the fall fair and GCD events in one location;

• many mentioned they were happy to have the events back where they used to be years ago;

• the fall fair committee informed us that their attendance was greatly increased due to holding the GCD events outside in the parking lot;

• the parade participants found the new route much flatter and easier to maneuver than tackling the hills;

• locating the parade route in the Second Avenue area was much safer for our spectators, especially the young children, and there was no worry about highway traffic;

• the parade route didn't plug up the highway going through town, possibly preventing potential shoppers from visiting our stores;

• when the parade was held downtown, there was very little parking for anyone passing through town who may have wanted to stop for a bite to eat;

• the noise from the highway traffic through town always made it extremely difficult to hear the outdoor stage performers on Washington St.;

• vendors had a flat area in the arena parking lot, instead of the slope of Washington St.;

• and the hump in the middle of Washington St. always made it difficult to level the outdoor stage.

It was unfortunate there were some who believed the GCD parade and events would be located in the downtown area this year, despite efforts in publicizing the actual locations in newspaper articles, online sources, and the schedule of events, which was posted to many online sources, in both the Rossland News and Trail Times, as well as distributed to a good portion of Rossland businesses well before the event.

The committee discussed at length the idea of holding some events downtown but realized that it would be difficult to split up the events. It was difficult to decide which events and vendors would be placed where. In addition, ultimately, if there were events downtown and in the arena lot, many people would miss out on some events and the fall fair. It seemed only logical to keep everything close together.

The committee values highly the participation of the local merchants, as they contribute to the success of Golden City Days in so many ways. Regretfully, many Rossland merchants did not receive the communication from the GCD committee in January and were unaware that the parade and events were being located away from the downtown core.

Before anything was set in stone, there was an attempt to communicate with the business owners via a detailed letter to the Rossland Chamber of Commerce to explain the reasoning behind the decision to locate the events as it happened and find ways in which to involve the Rossland business community.

In this letter to business owners in January (several factors dictated the need for the committee to plan the location in January), the committee welcomed suggestions of ways in which others would like to participate and offer ideas of their own.

When it received little feedback, and without realizing that not all businesses are chamber members, the committee assumed most of the local businesses weren’t concerned about the change in location.

Now, however, the committee wonders if the letter was overlooked among all of the other communications local merchants receive from the Rossland Chamber of Commerce at that time of the year.

With the committee wrap-up meeting in the coming weeks, all citizens and merchants are invited to offer feedback on the events and locations this year, as well as suggestions for improving the parade route and events in the future.

The committee is always striving to build on the Golden City Days weekend by adding new events (outhouse races, mini bocce tournament, white elephant sale), but a small organizing committee cannot do it alone. They need more help.

The members of this committee begin planning for the weekend festival in January and spend hundreds of hours of their time trying to do their best to please everyone.

It needs groups and volunteers to suggest new events (children’s games, logger sports) and come forward to offer their help in organizing and hosting these events, and it truly appreciates those groups and volunteers who came forward to make the 2013 weekend festival a successful event.

Constructive comments and suggestions may be emailed to Feedback will be reviewed and discussed by the committee and will aid them in making decisions for future GCD festivals.

The GCD committee apologizes to all Rossland merchants for not contacting them directly to ensure that they had their input regarding the impact of GCD on their businesses.