Advocate editorial board opinion: Festival was success through year-plus planning
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We could tell the morning of Oct. 21 that the first Bootfest was going to be a success. Vendors were setting up around DeLeon Plaza, smiling and talking with each other. The 71 slots for vendors were full.
And Sheriff T. Michael O'Connor was celebrating his office's 175 year anniversary with an open house, chock full of historical photographs and papers, not to mention his amazing mobile command unit for emergency situations.
Across the plaza, a huge stage was being prepared for bands. The day was beautiful.
Who would have guessed that more than 20,000 people would show up over the two days of the festival Oct. 21-22?
Who would have guessed that the total expense was significantly below the budgeted $100,000 for the event? In fact, the expense was $33,000 less than that amount.
Certainly, praise should go to the Victoria Convention and Tourist Bureau, now under the direction of the city. The original idea came from Bridgette Bise, former director of the bureau, back in April 2010.
Of course, the idea was met with doubt, distaste and dissension by some, but the organizers pressed forward with a positive outlook. When the Bureau separated from the Victoria Chamber of Commerce and became a city department, Communication Director O.C. Garza, event coordinator Bruce Ure, Bureau employees Casey Staudt and Taylor Esco saw it to fruition - as did all of us.
We are sure many lessons were learned -- through trial and error and through blood, sweat and tears. All the better for next year's planning of the event.
Again, we thank the city and all its employees for a job well done. And we look forward to next October when the second annual Bootfest gets under way.
This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.