Aledo City Council hears request for Rhubarb Festival

Cathy Decker

Darlene Johnson, organizer of the Aledo Rhubarb Festival approached the Aledo City Council Monday, April 18, 2011 with a request for some financial help. Since this is the 20th anniversary of the event, Johnson said there was more music being offered and music that costs more.

She said a sand artist will be arriving on Thursday, June 2, to oversee the sand that will be delivered to the Central Park fountain. He will be working from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday. There is also some new entertainment this year with the final act Manny Lopez Big Band from 7 - 9 p.m. Saturday night.

She requested the city help with the entertainment costs, asking for somewhere between $4,000 and $5,000.

Johnson detailed some of the costs for the festival including around $2,000 in advertising costs, $1,500 for garbage and porta-potties, $300 for tent rental and "This year our music is $8,000 for everything," she said.

"Last year we slid behind on income," she added.

Johnson said that there are many organizations that rely on the Rhubarb Festival for fund-raising, with last year's bake sales bringing in around 3,000 rhubarb pies. "Those groups cleared $33,000 with bake sales," she said.

Janice Green, city administrator, told the council that $40,000 had been budgeted this year for city sponsoring of events. Of that $19,500 had already been spent, with a promise to the Aledo Fire Department for $3,000 for fourth of July fireworks.