Monday, December 18, 2006

Suisun City eyes entertainment changes for '07

Excerpted from Daily Republic (Subscription required)
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By Ian Thompson
SUISUN CITY - Will there be more summer movies at the Harbor Plaza, increased city support of the Saturday crafts markets and another Friday night concert season?

That is what the Suisun City Recreation Department wants the City Council to weigh in on Tuesday night as department head Mick Jessop prepares his department's 2007 event calendar.

These are three possible changes Jessop wants to make in a calendar of events that starts in April with an Easter egg hunt and wraps up with Christmas in Old Town.

The first is bringing back the Harbor Nights concert series for a second season at the Harbor Plaza starting July 13, but offering five free concerts along with three to four ticketed events.

"It is another event that both the community enjoys and puts Suisun City on the map for quality entertainment in a prime location," Jessop wrote in a memo to the City Council.

Under an agreement being worked out with Pepper Belly's owner Jim Ignatieff, the city would manage the free events and Ignatieff would manage the ticketed ones.

Last summer's series went relatively well considering how quickly it was planned and put together, but attendance was below what was expected and the image of the fence surrounding the concert put off residents.

The concerts ended up costing Suisun City $30,145 and Ignatieff $34,439.

Jessop is asking the City Council to agree to pay $33,145 to help put on the 2007 concert series.

The second possible change is a request from Saturday Market promoter Debbie Kiikvee for financial support from the city for the open-air crafts vendor markets she runs on the first Saturday of each month.

Kiikvee's events weren't well attended in 2006 and a drop in interested vendors forced her to run the markets at a financial loss.

Jessop is asking the council for help "to help turn the corner on making this event a mainstay event for the community." The 2007 Saturday markets are expected to run from May through August.

Kiikvee wants assistance in the form of $1,000 per event for advertising and another $300 per event to allow her to spend more time finding vendors, pre-planning the markets and developing themes for each market.

The third is offering a weekly Saturday Night at the Movies that would run for eight Saturday nights starting on July 7 in the Harbor Plaza.

This idea was spurred by the popularity of the 2006 series that offered movies once a month during the summer with support from the Old Town's Business Improvement District.

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