Organizers cancel Cinco de Mayo festival for 2012
SNOHOMISH - The Cinco de Mayo festival is not expected to happen this year, as organizers have been unable to find a sponsor to provide insurance for the event.
The festival brought hundreds of people to downtown last year, its first year. The attractions included live music and dancing, craft booths, authentic Mexican food and dancing horses.
A variety of local businesses chipped in to help sponsor the event and were lined up to do the same this year, event organizer Patricia Therrell said.
The city committed to providing insurance coverage for the event for the first year only and told organizers to find another way to provide insurance for year two.
The insurance cost is $500, Mayor Karen Guzak said, and the event committee does not want to pay for it themselves.
The city suggested the group use the Snohomish Senior Center to put on a smaller event this year, so it could use the center’s insurance. But the event would have had to be cut down dramatically, when, in fact, the group had hoped to make it a bit bigger each year, Therrell said.
Event organizers went to the City Council last fall to ask the city to reconsider providing insurance again, but the council turned them down.
“Right now we only have one event that we cover as a sponsored event,” which is Kla Ha Ya Days, City Manager Larry Bauman said. “That’s the only event that’s an official city event for 2012,” Bauman said.
Even providing insurance for the event last year was an exception to the city’s general rule not to sponsor anything but Kla Ha Ya Days, Guzak said. Events like the Easter Parade and GroundFrog Day are all paid for by the organizations that put them on, she said.
“I’m very sad that the committee decided not to go ahead with the senior center offer, because we very much wanted the Cinco de Mayo event to happen again,” Guzak said. “I personally very much really wanted it to happen again.”
The number of Hispanic people living in Snohomish makes the Cinco de Mayo event a citywide event, Therrell said, which is why she thinks the city should sponsor it again. The event encourages the English- and Spanish-speaking communities to mingle, which makes everyone more comfortable in their own town, she added.
By STEPHANIE KOSONEN
Published Feb. 22, 2012