Belmont reinvents city festival

While the venues and events may change, Belmont officials hope to prove that city pride lives on in new forms.

On Tuesday, the Belmont City Council gave the go-ahead to end the Belmont Festival, the two-day community event traditionally put on by the city and the Chamber of Commerce. But in its place, with the help of city-donated space and fee waivers, a new celebration, the Save the Music Festival, will begin on October 14.

Two years ago, the chamber’s Belmont Community Festival and the city’s Belmont Art and Wine Festival merged into the Belmont Festival to support each other against declining attendance and public interest.

But attendance continued to fall, a decline chamber President Ron Denman attributed to the glut of similar festivals along the Peninsula.

The city pulled out of the festival because the Parks and Recreation Department was using up 400 hours of staff time a year — worth approximately $20,000 — coordinating the event.

“Art and wine festivals as such have become overdone replicas of one another, offering many of the same arts, crafts and activities,” Parks and Recreation Director Adam Politzer said.

But while the festival was shrinking, the Belmont-Redwood Shores School District’s Save the Music festival was attracting enough attention to raise approximately $54,000 in two days in 2006.

The chamber proposed the idea of a partnership, and the Save the Music Festival, a one-day event, was born. The city will waive $7,888 in fees for the event, the chamber will provide booths for local businesses and traveling vendors, and the music program will provide the entertainment.

School-Force, the nonprofit district group that created Save the Music, plans to present bands from nearby schools, local musicians and some surprise guests in October to entertain the 7,000 people they’re hoping to attract.

If the festival succeeds, the city hopes to expand it beyond the one-day event.

jgoldman@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Construction in the Better Market Street Project between Fifth and Eighth streets is expected to break ground in mid-2021.<ins></ins>
SFMTA board to vote on Better Market Street changes

Agency seeks to make up for slimmed-down plan with traffic safety improvements

U.S. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris speaks during an event to name President-elect Joe Biden’s economic team at the Queen Theater on Dec. 1, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (Alex Wong/Getty Images/TNS)
Kamala Harris to resign from Senate

Bridget Bowman CQ-Roll Call Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will resign from the… Continue reading

A view of Science Hall at the City College of San Francisco Ocean campus on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
CCSF begins search for next chancellor amid new challenges

‘It’s arguably the biggest single responsibility the board has,’ trustee says

Some people are concerned that University of California, San Francisco’s expansion at its Parnassus campus could cause an undesirable increase in the number of riders on Muni’s N-Judah line.<ins></ins>
Will UCSF’s $20 million pledge to SFMTA offset traffic woes?

An even more crowded N-Judah plus increased congestion ahead cause concern

From left, Natasha Dennerstein, Gar McVey-Russell, Lucy Jane Bledsoe, Jan Steckel and Miah Jeffra appear in Perfectly Queer’s fifth anniversary reading on Jan. 20.<ins> (Courtesy photo)</ins>
Perfectly Queer reading series celebrates fifth anniversary

Online event features five writers, games, prizes

Most Read