Over on Mike Brinkerhoff’s appropriately named “Crazy World of Fircrest Politics” page on Facebook, there’s a great discussion about how to boost Fircrest Fun Days. (Dec. 2 update: Mike took that page down because it got a little to crazy, which is ironic given the name of the page…)
In dozens of comments, people are saying they think Fun Days is feeling … tired. That’s especially noticeable because it comes just a few days after the knock-your-socks-off National Night Out celebration. NNO has skydivers, a helicopter, police cars, lots of food options, free inflatable activities and more. A few days later, FFD has the same inflatable toys, but it costs to play. Both events also close with a big fireworks show, and as much as everyone loves fireworks, two shows in five days may be a bit much (even for gunpowder-lovin’ Americans…).
NNO can’t move. Around the the nation, it’s always on the first Tuesday in August.
So what can we do to spruce up Fun Days? There are lots of good ideas being shared on Mike’s page. And the city is listening.
At this week’s City Council meeting, I asked city staff to survey Fun Days vendors and the general public. They plan to do so, and hopefully it will be posted online next week (likely using a tool like Surveymonkey). I’ll post a link, and I’m sure Mike and the awesome ladies of the Friends of Fircrest page will make sure it’s shared far and wide. (See below for an update.)
Keep in mind, there are people who are quite happy with Fun Days, and they need to be heard too. My 6-year-old son loved the pony ride, the inflatables, and listening to the karaoke. And the Kiwanis Club of Fircrest had a hugely successful spaghetti dinner fundraiser on Friday, followed by a successful pancake breakfast fundraiser on Saturday. So to be clear, it’s not all complaints or criticism.
The city should add all the ideas being shared on Mike’s page. I hope the survey will ask about dates, satisfaction with the current setup, suggestions for other activities, etc.
It also needs to ask if you’re willing to help. Because here’s a huge difference between the two events: NNO has an active committee that raises private donations and spends most of the year planning the event. Fun Days is organized by our tiny Parks and Recreation staff, which also has to manage a whole year’s worth of activities on a shoestring budget. The staff works hard on your behalf, but I don’t see that they have the capacity to do much more. It’ll take more help to make Fun Days even, well, funner.
Aug. 21 update: The city was impressed by the online discussion and strong interest in improving Fun Days, so it is creating a Fun Days Citizen Volunteer Committee. According to a memo sent to Council today, the first meeting of the committee is tentatively set for Sept. 1 at the Rec Center. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in participating. Jeff says one task will be to work with the committee to create and distribute a community survey.