Editorial: Something can be done to save Dew Days
Some members of the Farmington City Council expressed reluctance Monday at the idea of providing assistance to CEEF, the organization that puts on events like Farmington's annual Dew Days celebration.
Council member Steve Wilson worried about the city assuming too much responsibility for Dew Days, and Julie May expressed concern about the precedent such a move could set.
That's understandable. CEEF has some serious bills in front of it and the city, having already made cuts to its own budget, is hardly in a position to simply write a big check and bail them out.
Still, considering this year's Dew Days has somewhere in the area of $25,000 in unpaid bills and no obvious way of making good, it seems some kind of help is needed if the summer celebration is to continue. And while Dew Days has not been well attended in recent years we feel it would be a shame to let the event fall by the wayside.
Done right, events like Dew Days help a city maintain its identity. They build community and bring people to town. It would be a shame to lose all that.
Dew Days has lost some of its luster in recent years. Frequent location changes and some unpopular decisions have led to low attendance and some bad feelings among residents and planners alike. But that can be fixed.
There are ways to make this work, and it doesn't have to mean a big outlay of cash on the city's part. The city of Rosemount a few years ago took a more active role in the planning of Leprechaun Days, that city's popular summer festival. The city provides planning help and holds several events of its own but the bulk of the work is left to a hard-working group of volunteers.
Finding people to help with Dew Days has been a challenge at times. Perhaps a little organizational assistance from the city can help fill in the gaps, or open the doors for more people to get involved.
We like Dew Days. We think it's important to Farmington. And we'd like it to continue. We hope the city, the nearby townships and CEEF can find a way to make that work.