Maple Grove Days Organizers See Drop in Sponsorships, Ask City for Additional $10K
Maple Grove Days plans to be back in person this year after the multi-day festival was canceled last year due to COVID-19. However, festival organizers say the pandemic continues to cause budget concerns.
The nonprofit volunteer organization that runs the festival, the Maple Grove Community Organization (MGCO), says it has had a significant drop in sponsorships compared to previous years.
“We have had several large sponsors, such as Boston Scientific, Living Word Church and Maple Grove Hospital, who have not been able to sign on this year either due to extreme budget woes because of shutdowns and/or corporate restrictions against festival and event participation because of concerns surrounding COVID-19,” wrote Briana Boldon, event coordinator for MGCO, in a letter to Maple Grove City Council members.
The city council previously approved a $10,000 contribution to MGCO to help fund Maple Grove Days events. MGCO is now requesting an additional $10,000.
In 2020 prior to the pandemic, MGCO had budgeted expenses of $134,000 for Maple Grove Days. Because of lower than normal sponsorships, expenses were adjusted downward to just over $117,000, officials told CCX News.
Boldon told city leaders that MGCO had to dip into its rainy day fund, deepening concerns about future Maple Grove Days’ festivals.
“The concerns of Maple Grove Days staying afloat is not only one for this year, but for upcoming years if we cannot come out of this in a position where we can continue operation into future years,” wrote Boldon.
Festival organizers noted that it had to cut back on marching bands, midway attractions and entertainers for this year.
MGCO had hoped adding back the traditional parade would not only boost community morale, but also sponsorships. Those expected financial gains, however, have not come to fruition.
“A few smaller businesses have been able to contribute, but not enough that makes a difference in our shortcomings,” Boldon wrote.