Bay okays Harbor Fest; ‘street fee’ may be in force
By Jennifer Lenain
Mar 22, 2013, 16:52
Bay Harbor Fest is set for Memorial Day Weekend in downtown Bay St. Louis.
Bay St. Louis City Council members on Tuesday authorized Mayor Les Fillingame to enter into aN agreement with Bay Harbor Festival, LLC, approving the preliminary concept of the festival.
After council met in executive session, Ward 1 Councilman Doug Seal made a motion to allow the mayor to enter into the contract.
The motion passed 5 to 1.
Councilman-at-Large Bill Taylor voted against and Ward 2 Councilwoman Wendy McDonald was out of the room.
The contract is a five-year agreement that will be presented to the council for approval to "sign over" city property during the festival.
Michael Rosato first presented the idea of a harbor festival in lieu of Bay BridgeFest to the city council on March 5.
He said the idea was to host a large music event in the downtown area.
"We are proud to have a major festival replace Bridge Fest at the start of summer," Fillingame said, "it is a powerful economic drive."
"Open house events generate spin-offs in return business and real estate," he said, "they are tremendous marketing tools for the city."
Old Town Merchant's Association President Jeremy Burke, representing 40 business merchants in the downtown area that support Bay Harbor Fest said, "It is going to be an economic impact that we all need."
There will be an entry fee of $20 for music goers who prefer to be close to the action, and an "at-will fee" of $5 to access the streets with festival activity, Fillingame said Friday.
"I'm not sure if the at-will fee will happen this year," he said, "but it is likely to happen in later years."
A clause in the agreement that is still subject to affirmation is that, for the first year of the festival, the city will receive $1 for every ticket sold; and for the following years, organizers will pay a base impact fee of $15,000 plus a percentage of ticket sales.
The city will provide security off-premises and use of barricades.
A press conference is scheduled for March 26 to discuss festival details.