Town plans events after canceling festival

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TOWN OF BELOIT - Town of Beloit officials have planned a litany of events to make up for the Town Board deciding to cancel Festival on the Rock this year.

Town administrator Gene Wright said the town already has hosted many of the events on its 2019 celebrations schedule in the past but has added events and activities that used to take place during Festival on the Rock.

Last month, the town board voted to eliminate the 2019 Festival on the Rock because it has been losing money. Wright said hosting smaller events will cut down on overhead costs, such as tents, bathrooms and overtime for town staff.

Wright said attendance has been steady at previous festivals.

"The costs have gone up, but the revenue hasn't gone up in the same way," Wright said. "The event was designed to create revenue for the parks, and when it doesn't we have to re-think the event."

Officials say the town's revenue from the festival was sharply cut when Patch Products, now known as PlayMonster, ended its toy sale in 2016. The 2018 festival made the least amount of revenue ever, with a net of $16,000. However, 2018 was the first year the town paid a staff member - special projects coordinator Liane Mills - to run the festival. Taking Mills' salary into account, the net revenue was about $6,000. In an effort to review the cost of the festival, 2018 was the first time the township also considered the cost to have staff members from the finance, police, fire and public works departments work on the festival. When these additional costs were added, officials found the festival to be operating at a loss.

Wright said Festival on the Rock likely will be back in 2020 with a different look.

Here are some of the tentative events town staff have planned for 2019:

• Coffee with a Cop, from 10-11 a.m. on April 12 at Sophia's Restaurant.

• Vendor Event from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. on June 9 at Preservation Park.

• Bike Rodeo and Movie in the Park, featuring "Ralph Breaks the Internet" on June 22 at McKearn Park.

• Middle School Fun Day with the Town of Beloit Fire Department, from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. on July 8.

• High School Academy with the Town of Beloit Fire Department, from 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. on July 9-12.

• Bags tournament and Movie in the Park, featuring "Incredibles 2" at Preservation Park on July 13.

• Coffee with First Responders at Riverside Terrace from 10:15 - 11:15 a.m. on July 24.

• Movie in the Park Sponsor Event, featuring "How to Train Your Dragon" on July 27th at McKearn Park.

• Vendor Event at Preservation Park on Aug. 11.

• End of Summer Party and Movie in the Park, featuring "Coco" at Preservation Park on Aug. 17.

• Autorama at Preservation Park on Sept. 15.

• Coffee with a Cop at Sophia's Restaurant on Oct. 3.

• Open House at the Town with Beloit Fire Department on Oct. 19.

• Christmas Tree Lighting and Holiday Party at the Town of Beloit Fire Department on Dec. 14.

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