The Dogwood Festival will need a new home, Christina Mora reports for NBC-29, since McIntire Park is being converted into something considerably less park-like. The event has been held in McIntire Park for sixty years (before that it was the Apple Harvest Festival, held in the fall beginning in 1950). The organizers are looking for a new home for their rides and fireworks, somewhere in Charlottesville or Albemarle.
I wonder if this means that our annual Fourth of July celebration can’t continue to be held in McIntire? If that’s the case, City Council may find itself with a full-blown rebellion on hand. It’s one thing to eliminate softball fields. It’s another to eliminate the only viable location in the city to celebrate the founding of our nation.
4:02 PM Update: Mayor Dave Norris says it ain’t so:
The media accounts on 29 and in the Hook are incorrect. The City is NOT planning to evict the Dogwood Carnival from McIntire Park. If anything, the changes afoot for the western side of the park will make McIntire an even better home for the Dogwood Festival. The only issue is what to do with the Festival NEXT YEAR if there is a major construction project going on in the park at that time.
26 thoughts on “Dogwood Carnival Victim of McIntire Plans”
I read the NBC article, but didn’t see any explanation for why the carnival is leaving the park. Is it related to road construction?
The discourse in the comments section is at an admirably high level on this blog. But I have to resort to the base here as a response: THIS BLOWS.
Seriously, Reader, I’m with you. I’ve been unhappy at a low level with this business of the YMCA and the Parkway, and the overall loss of land in McIntire Park. (I get the sense that Paul Goodloe McIntire would not be happy about what’s happened to his park.) But if we’re making this space inviable for the Dogwood Carnival and the Fourth of July, then that would cement for me that this business of the YMCA and the Parkway is a really, really stupid move. This is exactly why it’s important to have a big chunk of parkland in the middle of a city—it’s where we can set up rides, blow up fireworks, eat funnel cakes, watch bands, and have fun. I just can’t emphasize strongly enough how essential it is to a community to have those sorts of events, those communal experiences where people of all races, incomes, levels of education, etc. all come together to celebrate their shared heritage. To lose that for a YMCA would be asinine.
In short: THIS BLOWS.
The media accounts on 29 and in the Hook are incorrect. The City is NOT planning to evict the Dogwood Festival from McIntire Park. If anything, the changes afoot for the western side of the park will make McIntire an even better home for the Dogwood Festival. The only issue is what to do with the Festival NEXT YEAR if there is a major construction project going on in the park at that time.
Sorry, by “Festival” I meant “Carnival” of course.
I don’t know about the shared heritage part, but my family had a great time at the carnival last night, even with slightly fewer rides than the year before, and I’m glad to hear Mayor Norris reassuring us that McIntire Park will be able to continue hosting the carnival in years to come.
I don’t know if you’ve been to the carnival lately but it is crappier than ever and unfortunately pulls in pretty crappy crowd when the sun goes down. I spoke with a cop who works it and he said it is getting worse every year. I never ride anything that sports rust and or duct tape and that is pretty much what is at the carnival.
In 1990 when McIntire was renovated the last time they moved the carnival to the Seminole Square parking lot. That worked out okay, if I remember correctly, though we (the Jaycees) were doing concessions and in that regard I seem to remember we barely broke even that year (and in previous and subsequent years the Dogwood Festival concessions were what funded the first quarter of our fiscal year).
For this controversy to be still floating about speaks to the disjointed process that was employed in this repurposing of McIntire Park. The lady brought up the issue of the hosting of the Carnival a year before the City signed the lease for the YMCA. Why wasn’t the position of the Carnival clarified before? I believe Dogwood was told they could set up in the Park’s parking lot. I have no idea if the Carnival feels this is a suitable arrangement. As for the Carnival being located in the City, I see no special need.
Norris ought to talk with his parks and rec people who say 29 is right.
Little far from town, by why not Bundoran Farm? It works for the Albemarle County fair…
Personally though, the fair doesn’t really seem to embody “communal experiences” and “shared heritage” as well as it could. My understanding is also that it generates a vast volume of trash.
Why can’t we have a Dogwood Carnival that really does emphasize local heritage, and isn’t just a bunch of rides and games trucked in from elsewhere? (not that those can’t be included too…) Nelson Counties’ Summer Festival seems more like the kind of thing I think is missing here (but I’ve heard they’ve have problems recently too).
It doesn’t bother me in the least if the Carnival is not held in town in the future. It is estimated that now there are more than twice as many people in the county as in the city. I think the concepts of “communal experiences” and “Shared heritage” will work well in both.
“Why can’t we have a Dogwood Carnival that really does emphasize local heritage…” I think it’s more in the nature of a festival to deal with concepts of heritage rather than a carnival. The festival itself lasts about two weeks with many activities and I’m sure the steering committee would welcome ideas; but, along with the ideas should come resources for production, e.g. funding, site, organizers, etc.
@DF, shouldn’t the Director of Communications straighten this out? Why don’t they ask him?
One of the biggest gripes that I have with the Carnival is that there equipment is in the park for almost a month and it kills the grass and makes big ruts in the turf. Most Carnivals last 3-4 days but not this one. There is also a bad element present at this event (I know of one assault that happened this year). It is also a major intrusion on the youth sports in the park.
“There is also a bad element present at this event (I know of one assault that happened this year).” Please don’t go to Foxfield.
@Cville Eye – because the director of communications is a dingbat.
@DF: I have to disagree. He does what he’s asked to do very well. Maybe the dingbats are those who can’t figure out when it is appropriate for him to be used. Face it, City Hall is not a brain trust repository with Gary O’Connell at the helm. Look at his Solid Waste and Water & Sewer authorities.
Cville Eye, your Foxfield comment made me laugh.
I know the city’s spokesperson professionally.
There’s a long history of factual errors in press releases, unreturned calls on deadline, navel gazing on legit questions and attempted manipulation of our coverage.
You don’t see things like that from the Lee Catlins of this world.
He may be well intended but that’s not enough.
@Not an official statement…
And, when was the last time Lee Catlin took up more than 30 seconds of air time? Does that reflect that she rarely has anything substantive to say or that the press does not know what is important and what is not?
If I were a news organization I would view press releases as opportunities to dig deeper and if the releaser failed to give requested answers or refused to respond, that would become an important part of my article, along with all of the questions that I wanted answered.
“Officials said earlier that the Albemarle Police Department would have 81 security personnel at Foxfield, including 49 officers. In addition, the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control had 31 agents; the Virginia State Police 29 troopers; the Albemarle Sheriff’s Office 17 deputies; and UVa police three bicycle officers, along with the private security firm RMC’s 110 employees.” This is from a DP account of the Spring 2008 edition of Foxfield. http://www.dailyprogress.com/cdp/news/local/article/fewer_arrests_reported_at_this_years_foxfield/20968/
It’s not funny, it’s sad. You’d think we were in northern Pakistan. According to the article, the previous year there were 85 arrests, and I think I remember reading that the year before it was over 100 including a number of fights. i guess it’s all a matter of your class or the lack thereof. Also, the article said there was an incredible amount of theft this year, over 2,500 fake passes. I’d prefer taking my chances with the Dogwood Festival goers, thank you. I suspect Cecil agrees.
I have said it before, I will say it again, and I will probably keep saying it until I am buried someday. Press spokespersons in the city and county are a duplication of services. Department heads can make these little 20 second press releases just as well as any overpaid duplicator.
Yeah, FWIW, let me compare my experiences with drunken UVa students and Dogwood Festival goers. Drunken UVa students: a couple years ago, I made the mistake of going in to work at the office on a Saturday morning, which meant I was driving home against the foot traffic of hundreds of already-drunk students who were staggering from Frat Row to the football game (this was in front of Alderman Library).
I remember driving through University Avenue back in the 70’s or early 80’s and had to stop at the pedestrian crossing at Chancellor Street. My passenger door opened and two mud covered young “gentlemen” jumped in the front seat and asked me to take them to their frat. Fortunately for me, I had vinyl seats and not cloth. It took me over and hour to clean the mud out. Fortunately for me we were able to rinse the vomit from my car door when we got to the fraternity before the acid ate through the paint finish. For some reason I still don’t find it funny. Since then, my car doors have been always locked. I’ve never had problems with drunks at Dogwood.
So, let me get the logic of this argument straight…
Foxfield has an inordinant number of drunk college students behaiving badly, so therefore The Dogwood Festival must be crime free and without any bad element?
Do I smell a Red Herring?
No, there are bad elements everywhere, even in churches, and nobody should expect crime-free places where there are lots of people. There is no logical conclusion intended. I’ll repeat my statement: ” ‘There is also a bad element present at this event (I know of one assault that happened this year).’ Please don’t go to Foxfield.” See, Lonnie?
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