Petition ready to keep festivals in place

By: 
CAROLYN DRYER, Editor

Photo by Carolyn Dryer
Bud Zomok is presenting a petition with 958 signatures to councilmembers and other members of city leadership, requesting reconsideration of a plan to eliminate extra days at Glendale festivals.

Bud Zomok said he did not foresee the outpouring of support he received from residents for the online petition “Save Downtown Glendale Festivals.”

“We were expecting 500,” Zomok said. “That was the goal. We received 958 in eight days.”

He said he had to turn off the petition drive just to print what had already been gathered.

“The comments are telling,” Zomok said. “They’re about family, tradition and goodwill. People are now bringing their grandkids. Some were there (at Glendale Glitters) on their first date and are now getting married there.”

Zomok said he is hoping to present all of the signatures on the petition to City Council and city leadership and “have them reconsider eliminating the extra days” in downtown festivals.

“It’s more than just dollars and cents,” Zomok said. “It’s just the fabric of who we are.”

The petition reads:

“Glendale city leadership is cancelling the three Glendale Glitters Holiday Weekends for 2018. These are the three weekends that traditionally follow the Glitters opening weekend. In addition, the Friday night of the Glendale Chocolate Affaire has also been cancelled.

“One of the weekends to be removed is Glendale Glitters Spirit of Giving. This particular weekend provides nonprofits the opportunity to meet and provide information for their organization to tens of thousands of attendees. It is a weekend that allows attendees to give back during the holiday season and learn more about the dedicated programs these nonprofits provide.

“Glendale Glitters’ award-winning holiday lighting event has become a family tradition for 24 years and attracts more than 250,000 visitors annually from all over the world. The stunning display of 1.6 million lights illuminates 16 blocks of Historic downtown Glendale, making it the largest free holiday light display in Arizona …

“Your signature may help preserve decades of family traditions, allow nonprofits the opportunity to meet with thousands of people, and continue the long-standing and positive impact these events have on the city of Glendale.”

He produced a hard copy of the petition with all 958 signatures, saying it was “amazing” because people from all ZIP codes in Glendale responded. There were 400 signatures from within the city, while 500 were from the rest of the state and beyond.

Zomok said he understands that nothing is ever perfect and everything can be improved.

“But to make changes without the input of stakeholders is where it fell apart a bit,” he said. “This shows the whole process of doing festivals is important to the community. It’s a part of the community and family fabric. You can see it’s part of family plans.”

He said an online search of Glendale Glitters shows page after page of various articles about the festival.

“It’s just worth insurmountable dollars,” Zomok said. “When you look, it’s on every search engine … and it’s the 25th year. Twenty-five years is a long time. To cut it back on its 25th time is just different.”

Looking at the pages containing the signatures, Zomok said, “It’s the merchants, the community that’s come together to say, ‘Save this.’ Everything is improvable, don’t just sit back. Glendale Glitters is other communities’ target. We should raise the bar, not give it away.”

Zomok has lived in Glendale since 1972. He has a business and home downtown, and said he has a vested interest in being a part of the process, the festivals.

“There are some things you do because it’s right, not just it being about the dollar,” he said. “This was here long before Westgate and the stadium. This is what people knew as Glendale. I deliberately bought my home (in Catlin Court) because of Glitters. I love the noises, the lights, people walking down my street. We have our house ready for Glendale Glitters. We like showing off that house and being part of that festival season.

“All we’re hoping to do is have leadership say, ‘Let’s keep the footprint.’”

For some downtown merchants, cutting the festival season short could be life or death for their business, Zomok said. Many order their festival season supplies a year ahead, he said.

“The tentacles of this festival touches so many pieces,” he said.

The Glendale Star

The Glendale Star
7122 N. 59th Ave.
Glendale, AZ 85301-2436
Ph: (623) 842-6000
Fax: (623) 842-6013
Terms of Service

Email Us

Facebook

Peoria Times

Peoria Times
7122 N. 59th Ave
Glendale, AZ 85301-2436
Ph: (623) 842-6000
Fax: (623) 842-6013

Terms of Service

Email Us

Facebook

Please Login for Premium Content