• Let’s clear the air on Santa-Cali-Gon

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  • Teresa Freeland
    former vice president and festival director, Independence Chamber of Commerce
    To the editor:
    I would like to address recently referenced information in The Examiner regarding Santa-Cali-Gon Days.
    2012 was not a banner year, but not every year can be. Considering one day of solid rain, the festival was not bad financially nor had the money all been spent, as previously stated. By Saturday afternoon the weather had cleared. The chamber staff, festival board members, exhibitors and the board of directors all concluded that we had a decent festival monetarily considering the weather.
    Regarding past booth fees, we are competitive with other outdoor festivals’ fees. Charging much more will prevent many exhibitors from participating. Without mentioning the impact to all those involved, it will impact the festival itself.
    Santa-Cali-Gon has lost great, hard-working volunteers through this and may lose more. It’s not indicative of the gratitude owed these volunteers when it is stated that “there are others that will step up.” New volunteers are always appreciated, but to indifferently dismiss the hard work of past volunteers and festival board members who work on Santa-Cali-Gon for many months prior and during the festival is not only insensitive, but losing them generates a negative impact.
    It takes everyone to make Santa-Cali-Gon successful. Don’t for a second think any one person, one volunteer, one staff member can do it all. There must be a communitywide effort as originally intended.
    It is an insult to the staff of 2012 – both the staff that is still there and the staff that left – to say we cannot accept change. There is always room for improvement in any endeavor worth the undertaking. Santa-Cali-Gon is no exception. However, changes to a festival of this magnitude that involve and affect so many different entities, organizations and people deserve a lot of attention. Change is easy. Making the right changes becomes the difficult task.

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