OR Council OKs some changes to Secret City Festival

Monday night, the Oak Ridge City Council voted to establish the Secret City Festival as a nonprofit entity and set a goal of it becoming self-sufficient within five years.  Council unanimously agreed to direct the city manager to start a process to set up the new nonprofit. The single-purpose organization will be responsible for implementing the Secret City Festival or Celebration. They also voted to require that the festival have a theme related to the arts, history, science and culture of Oak Ridge. Next month, council members will vote in a board of directors to oversee the event. The board will have the authority to change the festival date. The Secret City Festival has been held in June for the past 13 years, including this year, which was described by many as the festival’s most successful year. One proposal called for moving the festival to October and continuing to Veterans Day. However, due to concerns about other conflicts that could arise out of moving it to the fall, that was amended and taken out of the resolution. The board of directors will be made up of 14 members. Six of these members will be appointed and eight will be elected. A city task force suggested the changes in large part due to a loss of funding from one of its major sponsors, Consolidated Nuclear Security—which operates Y-12 for the federal government—and a cut in city funding for the festival. Supporters of the changes say that the move to a new school calendar and the presence of several other events in June keep some families from attending. The hope is that moving the festival to the fall would make a difference.

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