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Fri, Nov. 15

Prescott receives three proposals for planning of July 4 celebration

PRESCOTT - As a part of its ongoing budget cutbacks, the City of Prescott plans to turn over sponsorship and planning of the annual July 4 celebration and fireworks display to a private company.

This week, three private firms submitted proposals to the city for taking on the celebration.

The city's recreation services department reports that the proposals came from: Eagle Management and Events, LLC; AZ Bounce Pro, LLC; and C&C Events.

The proposals stemmed from an RFP (request for proposals) that the city earlier released, seeking companies interested in "event planning and implementation for the annual Prescott 4th of July event."

Recreation Services Director Joe Baynes said the city sent the RFP out to 17 firms, and a total of four attended an earlier informational meeting.

Baynes said Friday that a committee will now review the proposals, and make a recommendation to the Prescott City Council - likely on March 1, he said.

Although the July 4th event has taken place at Pioneer Park in northeast Prescott for years, the RFP states: "It is not required that the event continue at the Pioneer Park venue, as proposals for other Prescott venues (example, downtown Prescott, etc.) will be considered."

Among the required tasks for the contractor would be:

• Plan the logistics and operation of the event.

• Coordinate all aspects of the event, including fireworks, activities, entertainment, food and beverage, sponsorships, marketing, public safety, crowd and parking management, and staffing.

• Monitor budgets and ensure compliance in all areas.

• Provide staffing for event set-up and tear-down, vendor/exhibit check-in, and trouble-shooting.

• Provide the fireworks, activities, entertainment, food, sponsorships, marketing, public safety, crowd and parking management, staffing, and payment for needed city services.

Since about 2003, the city has conducted the July 4 celebration at Pioneer Park, and has provided the money for the attractions and for the fireworks. This past year, the city put $20,000 into the fireworks display, and Special Events Manager Becky Karcie handled the planning for the daylong event.

The special events manager position was among the positions eliminated in the budget cuts that the Prescott City Council approved in November 2015, however, and as of the Jan. 1 effective date, the special events division was transferred to the city's recreation services department

The Prescott City Council agreed at the time of its budget-cut approval that the city should go out for proposals for a possible public/private partnership on the July 4 event.

Baynes said the city budget currently does not include an allocation for fireworks. That feature would have to be covered through the contract with the provider, he said.

A committee made up of representatives from the city and the Prescott Chamber of Commerce and Prescott Downtown Partnership is currently reviewing the three proposals, Baynes said.

Under the city's past sponsorship, the Pioneer Park event was free to the public, although a $12-$15 wristband was needed for the rides and carnival games. Attendance had grown to anywhere from 10,000 to 30,000 in recent years.

Although alcohol was not available for sale in previous years, attendees were allowed to take coolers into the event. The RFP refers to a possibility of the sale of alcohol, stating, "If alcohol sales are proposed, proposal must demonstrate a clear understanding of all requirements for alcohol sales."

Follow Cindy Barks on Twitter @Cindy_Barks. Reach her at 928-642-0951.

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