From the historic to the hysterical, local festivals are on the rise, prompting host municipalities to take a closer look at legislation that protects their community, residents and patrons.
For three days every March, thousands of visitors descend on Nederland, CO to celebrate Frozen Dead Guy Days; a festival that pays homage to a Norwegian man who’s been cryogenically preserved for almost 30 years in a shed high above the town.
In Austin, TX, Bat Fest visitors stand shoulder to shoulder on the Congress Ave Bridge on an August evening, eagerly awaiting the annual emergence of over 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats that take up summer residence beneath the bridge.
In Avon, OH, the annual Duck Tape Festival pays tribute to the perpetually handy tape, highlighting its many uses in everyday life.
Small towns and big cities across the U.S. are never at a loss when it comes to hosting festivals that celebrate the usual and unusual people and events that are part of their community history and heritage. Whether the focus is on art, music, food or something completely out of the ordinary, festivals add fun, draw people together, and boost community pride. Festivals are also big business, generating income for local hotels, restaurants, gas stations, shopping centers and public transit. Many communities count on festivals each year to bring in a steady stream of tourists and their dollars.
As the number of festivals continues to skyrocket across the country, risks to municipalities are also on the rise. Concerns around parking, traffic, noise, alcohol use, sanitation and security have prompted municipalities to review regulations around local festivals to balance community safety with the needs of visiting patrons.
Here are just a few ways local communities are addressing some of these issues in their legislation:
- Temporary Uses: Village of Sylvan Beach, NY
- Special Events: Village of Elm Grove, WI
- Outdoor Special Events Permits: Village of Darien, WI
- Mass Gatherings: Stony Point, NY
- Special Events and Block Parties: Village of Belleville, WI
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