Raising green for the Festival on the Green
Friends of Fairview launches fundraising for chili event
Chili lovers, rejoice the Fairview on the Green Festival featuring its popular chili cook-off is scheduled to return Saturday, Aug. 24, thanks to a grassroots effort by the newly formed Friends of Fairview Committee.
An alliance between former members of the Save the Chili Festival committee and the Reynolds Youth Football Association, has given new life to the highly popular annual event, which was cut from the citys social calendar and budget this year. The committee is seeking sponsorships from local businesses and community members to raise the estimated $20,000 needed to produce the event. Proceeds from the festival will directly benefit Reynolds Youth Football Association, a nonprofit organization that provides athletic opportunities to underprivileged youth in East County.
Public outcry over the loss of the festival was the motivating factor for a grassroots fund raising effort, said Friends of Fairview spokesperson Brian Cooper.
(Fairview on the Green)is a civic tradition, but we always knew it would go to a privately funded affair, Cooper said. There was no way the city could continue to pay for it. This is our effort to keep it going.
The festival and chili cook-off were launched in 2006, by former Fairview City Counselor Barb Jones. It picked up speed during its four-year run, bringing nearly 5,000 people to the park by 2010 and attracting chili contestants from throughout the Pacific Northwest, including Montana and Idaho. The festival was sidelined in 2011 because of a lack of funding, but returned last year albeit with a smaller attendance.
Yet what distinguishes the event, Cooper said, is the emphasis on family and, more importantly, the Chili-Peppers Childrens Area.
Weve always made it a family event, he added. While mom and dad eat chili, shop, listen to music or hang out in the beer garden, the kids can run around in the park and participate in activities for them.