Founders Festival contract on Farmington council, DDA agenda

With the Farmington Founders Festival still in limbo, city and Downtown Development Authority (DDA) officials will look on Monday at agreements that would put a private company in charge of the iconic summer event for two years.

The Greater Farmington Chamber of Commerce in June announced it would no longer run the festival. Since that time, Farmington Mayor Sara Bowman has spoken with a number of community groups to ensure a 2021 event. At the same time, officials are looking for a long-term Festival “owner”.

Maria Taylor David Delind Johnna Balk Farmington City Council

Last month, council members authorized contract talks with Julie Law of 360 Event Productions, a company that has produced the Festival since 2018. In an agenda memo, DDA Director Kate Knight said that, to ensure financial viability, the company would need a two-year contract.

“Further discussions amongst City staff determined that the proposed 2-year contract would provide the benefit of ensuring the City had sufficient time to discuss, review and plan for the future production of this event,” Knight wrote.

Because the city would not normally put on a community event, Monday’s proposal includes a 360 Events contract with the DDA and a Memorandum of Understanding between the city and DDA. Between the two agreements, the city is asked to designate an employee as Festival representative, provide Public Works and Public Safety services at no cost, and contribute a $10,000 sponsorship.

Under the 360 Event contract, the Festival will include, at a minimum: a parade; a beer tent; music; crafters; food trucks; a run; bingo; and bounce houses. The contractor would retain sponsorships and proceeds from the event and handle everything from insurance and permits to staffing and event day management.

Also on the 6 p.m. joint meeting agenda are two resolutions to support the taking of property belonging to Chase Bank and CVS to facilitate construction of the Farmington Road streetscape.

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