Tonawanda News

Canal Fest

July 21, 2012

Closing time debated

(Continued)

Tonawanda News —

Regarding the question of lost revenues, Ivancic, who has handled Canal Fest security for three years, said most of the vendor booths run by community organizations are closed by 10 p.m. Still, he said until each business discloses exact earnings, claims about lost revenue can’t be specifically addressed.

”My concern is public safety, not how much money is being made,” he said. 

With booths on the North Tonawanda side of the event remaining open until 11 p.m., Ivancic said some new problems have arisen dispersing crowds and dealing with patrons who must cross the bridge to take in the event’s final hour.

While he said some police overtime is being saved, officers still must remain near the midway well past 10 p.m. to enforce the curfew.

“I’d like to stress that we’re not done here,” he said. “Hopefully this trend will continue but there’s no guarantee.”

Speaking of the other side of the canal, Proefrock said booths on the North Tonawanda side, which is still open until 11 p.m., have reported modest gains this year.

Still, she said the earlier closing time has an effect beyond the hour’s difference where patronage to the many not-for-priofit groups operating concessions on the city side is concerned.

She said the roughly 50 community organizations who set up shop at Canal Fest sometimes earn their entire year’s operating budget though Canal Fest concessions.

The Carrousel Society, of which Proefrock is director, earns about 1/4 of their annual budget through an arrangement paying them a percentage of overall ride revenues.

”The rides, as much work as they create for the police and DPW an everyone — we recognize and appreciate that — but that’s what draws the people. There’s something there for everybody at Canal Fest.”

Contact city editor Neale Gulley at 693-1000, ext. 4114

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Canal Fest