Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

Local News

July 9, 2014

Global Fest gets nod for $1,000

GLASGOW — A funding request for the annual Global Fest, an event dedicated to celebrating diverse cultures, was granted Tuesday by the Glasgow-Barren County Tourist and Convention Commission.

The commission voted to contribute $1,000 to the festival, which is less than what event organizers had requested.

A funding request for $3,000 was submitted to the commission for its consideration. In years past, the commission had contributed $2,000 toward the festival.

Event organizers, Rondal Buford and Alma Glover, were on hand for a portion of the commission’s meeting and answered questions commissioners had about the festival.

One of the questions commissioners had was in regard to the number of visitors expected this year for the festival. On their funding request application, event organizers had listed they were anticipating 4,000 people to turn out for the festival. On past funding request applications, they had said they anticipated 9,000 people.

“Was there a drop or was there miscounts [in attendance] in the past,” said Ann Stewart, marketing director for the commission.

Buford said he thought his estimation of the county may been a little off.

“We dropped it down to 4,000 to make it seem more like the real amount,” he said. “It’s really hard to get an accurate count. It’s really hard to get an estimation.”

He explained the attendance fluctuates depending on what event is taking place during the festival. Some events attract larger crowds than others.

“We scaled that back some to make it look more like the actual number,” Buford said.

Commissioner Kim Shipley asked what time the festival is set to take place.

The hours of the festival, which will take place on Sept. 6, will be from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. In the past, the festival had been from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Glover said.

At the commission’s 2013 September meeting, when discussing event organizers’ request for funding, commissioners also discussed anticipated attendance and the number of cultures represented during the festival.

Event organizers were not present for the 2013 commission meeting.

On Tuesday, Glover said she would like to address the issue about cultures not being represented.

“I just want to let you all know that we have a list of all the cultures that come to the festival,” she said.

Glover read an extensive list of the cultures that have been represented at the festival in the past and a video exhibiting the cultural diversity of the festival was shown to commissioners.

“If you think it’s easy to put on something like this, it’s not because it’s hard to get people from another culture to come to the festival,” she said.

Commissioners discussed with Glover cultural diversity in the local community and the lack of participation by non-white groups in community events.

Buford asked commissioners for suggestions on how the festival can be made better.

Some of suggestions included inviting students with Western Kentucky University’s international department to take part and possibly having more games and events for children that would exhibit various cultures as opposed to carnival-type events, as well as music that lends itself to other cultures.

Mayor Rhonda Riherd Trautman, an ex-officio member of the commission, met with event organizers earlier in the year and discussed things that could be done to improve the festival.

“I encouraged them to do two things,” she said.

One of which was to open up one side of the square as a way of allowing people to get a sneak peek of what is taking place during the festival and possibly enticing them to attend.

The other was shortening the hours of the festival.

Trautman explained she typically attends the festival, but said it is exhausting to try to see everything that is taking place during the day-long event. She told commissioners she thought condensing the hours and possibly having fewer events during the festival might help.

Event organizers listened and have changed the hours of the festival. They have also decided to open the south side of the public square to traffic and moved the date of the festival back one week so that it is on Sept. 6 rather than on Labor Day weekend.

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