Joannie Connor is confident the annual Larkspur Flower Festival will again take over Magnolia Avenue this year, but it's going to take a lot more work.
"We want to keep the festival going this year. We're reaching out to the community for support," said Connor, president of the Larkspur Community Association. "We've usually relied on money the City supplied to us with (transient occupancy tax) funds, but that's not available this year."
The festival is currently scheduled for Sunday, May 27.
The City of Larkspur, which generally has covered nearly half the average $30,000 cost of the festival, has pulled in its financial commitment.
The City Council voted during the 2010-11 fiscal year to eliminate Larkspur's Business Community Enhancement Grant Program. The program funneled $50,000 in TOT money, gathered from hotel guests, to community events such as the festival and the Fourth of July Parade.
That money just isn't there this year for the flower festival, although the City is still planning to spend $10,000 on the Fourth of July Parade and will give $3,500 in matching funds to the Lark Theater Youth Film Festival.
City manager Dan Schwarz said the funds were designed to get organizations and events, such as the festival, off the ground but that the funding was never intended to be permanent.
Connor said there are plans to make up the funding shortfall with a Social Night complete with silent auction March 28, 6-10 p.m., at American Legion Post 313.
"We're just looking for volunteers and any donations people want to give to help the festival," according to Connor.
Downtown Larkspur businesses get a real shot in the arm when the Memorial Day weekend festival takes over Magnolia Avenue, according to Connor.
"We have arts, crafts, music, everything for all ages. Families come out and have a great day. They eat, drink and have a great time," Connor said. "So many of the businesses on Magnolia say it's one of the best events we have. People who visit Larkspur during the festival come back and shop later on. It's a good showcase for the town."
Anyone wishing to help support the festival can offer to be a business sponsor or volunteer. Call Connor at (415) 924-3808 for details.