We want to thank all of our friends for their kind thoughts, best wishes and suggestions. Your outpouring of support has been heart-warming. While we appreciate the City’s offer to explore new funding resources, we have gone far beyond the target date required for us to ramp up, organize and execute a successful event that would meet or exceed last year’s Celebration. Our decision should not come as a surprise to any one at City Hall since the city budget was presented and knowingly approved with significant cuts in staff and overtime for special events like Celebration. The City did not reach out to us to assess what the impact would be on Celebration before these cuts were implemented, nor did the City offer alternatives at the time. We very much would have liked to have continued Celebration, but the City made it clear to us when we contacted them after the budget was approved that it would not be in a position to support the festival as it had in the past. That was understandable in light of the city’s financial situation. We were advised that we would have to pay for city services (parks and recreation, public works and police) performed outside of normal work schedules. We reviewed all of our options and ultimately determined, based on the City’s own estimates, that we could not proceed. Our business community has been very supportive over the years. Our existing sponsors already give generously and new sponsors have been hard to come by because of the economy. Additionally, we considered asking for donations at the park entrance, but moving from a free event to a asking for a donation presented its own logistical challenges and was deemed implausible without any guarantee that it would yield the funds necessary to cover our expenses. We also looked at scaling down the event, but that idea too was rejected because a smaller event would have reduced our sponsorship dollars and vendor fees.
Celebration is a well-managed, well-organized event that has enjoyed a 17 year track record of showcasing Peekskill’s beautiful waterfront and meeting all of our expenses. When we had a surplus, we donated $20,000 to the City in 2005 to help pay for a new show mobile and stage. Our business model was successful because of our partnership with the City. Once that partnership was altered by the City, we were faced with having to cover substantial new expenses. We simply can not in good conscience move forward and be 100% certain that we can meet all of our financial obligations in 2013 as we had always done before.
Additionally, we could not delay notifying our stakeholders any longer, especially our vendors who have business decisions to make, our dragon boat teams who may still be able to register for other races, and our advertising partners who were up against deadlines to include Celebration in their marketing materials.
Celebration remains grateful for the City’s in-kind support. We also want to thank all of our supporters, vendors, sponsors and volunteers for their outstanding commitment to Celebration over the past 17 years.
Peekskill Celebration says thanks to all it's supporters for 17 years of fun and excitment in Peekskill.
2012 Jan Peek 10K Race Results - Congratulations to all the runners.