NEWBURGH – After months of collaborative planning, the City learned through social media that the Newburgh Illuminated Corporation unilaterally cancelled the Newburgh Illuminated Festival scheduled for June 3rd.
The City’s said it “has a responsibility to provide a safe, welcoming, vibrant, family-friendly event for residents, vendors, and festival-goers. Sadly, the Newburgh Illuminated Corporation has outright refused even the most routine and reasonable public safety measures put in place by the City’s Police and Fire Departments.”
After receiving nearly two hours of public comment at the April 10th City Council meeting, the Council agreed to extend the time of the Festival by a full one-and-a-half hours, so that it ends before it gets dark, and City workers can then begin the many-hours-long process of returning the City to full operation. The City’s police and fire departments adjusted the Festival footprint by one block on Liberty Street & one block on Broadway, so that police, fire, and first aid vehicles can reach all corners of the Festival – and the entire City outside the Festival footprint.
The City says that those were the common-sense terms under which the City approved the permit for the Festival. “To be clear: the City of Newburgh approved the permit for the Newburgh Illuminated Festival. Inexplicably, those terms were unanimously rejected by the Newburgh Illuminated Corporation. That conversation is documented, in writing,” the City said in a statement.
City officials said, “the City Council’s commitment to a successful Festival is clear: $50,000 has been budgeted for Festival operations, and hundreds of hours of staff time has been invested in approving multiple event permits. Further, the City assumes all risk and liability under a taxpayer-funded insurance policy. We are obviously disappointed by the Corporation’s decision to cancel Newburgh Illuminated.”