PDT Staff Writer
If I were to ask you what River Days costs to pull off, what would you say?
Think about this - name bands, a great fireworks display, security, insurance (bought from a local company, I might add), port-a-potties, food for the VIP tent, band and stage crew meals (also bought from a local company), a series of top notch pageants, photos (by local photographers), rental of the Vern Riffe center for the Arts, printing, etc. etc. etc. So how much does it cost? Try $150,000.
Now, the second question. Where does that money come from? Government? No. Grants? No. Are all of the members of the River Days committee rich? No. That money comes from corporate sponsors, fundraisers, and donations from folks like you.
Here is what I would like to suggest. If you bought a single ticket for any of the shows during the week of River Days, anywhere else, you would pay at least $25. However, you get to see each and every band perform, the entire River Days weekend, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, for absolutely nothing. Those shows, totaling 13 acts, are all free. So here is what I think would be a great idea. What if everyone would donate $25? That certainly seems like a small amount to pay for all of those bands, and it would help defray the cost of putting on show after show absolutely free to the public.
If you would like to make a donation, just call Teresa Bratton at 740-357-5059. She can tell you how you can do just that. Think how great you would feel to be part of the financing of this great annual event.
Now, let’s look at how much money River Days brings into area businesses. It is estimated that River Days draws 60,000 visitors for the four day festival. About 55,000 of those are day trippers, which means they visit for a single day of the event. Over four days, at $100.31 per person that brings in $5,517,050. It is estimated 5,000 visitors are over-nighters. Over four days, at $284.96 per person, they bring $1,424,800 into the economy, bringing the total for four days to $6,941,850 that goes back into the local economy.
Consider making a donation. They’ll take any amount. But $25 would be a good donation per person. Just think of it as buying a ticket to the Bo Bice concert, or a ticket to see Josh Thompson, Night Ranger or Direct Energy, or one of the local performers. I would pay $25 to see my favorite country band Terry Hall and the Dave Morrison Band, which will be performing at 7 p.m. on Thursday.
I believe Trent Williams and his committee have done an outstanding job of putting this great event together, and you can help them by making a donation today. River Days is about you. It is your heritage. It is a favorite event. And the best part is that it is free. As John Fogerty says, “If you come down to the river, bet you gonna find some people who live. You don’t have to worry ‘cause you have no money People on the river are happy to give.”
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at email@example.com.