Costs may end July 4 concert | RecordCourier.com
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Costs may end July 4 concert

by Sheila Gardner

Is the popular July 4 Pops in the Park concert in trouble?

Jane Gaw, representing the Sierra Philharmonic League, said this year’s free concert in Genoa may be the last because of rising costs and declining donations.

The League hit a sour note with the county commission Thursday in an unsuccessful effort to persuade the board to waive a $100 outdoor festival permit fee for the concert in Mormon Station State Monument.

“Next year, there may not be a Pops in the Park,” she said. “Contributions are not going up in proportion to expenses. The state parks fee is going up and contributions are going down.”

Commissioners voted unanimously to impose the fee which has been overlooked for the 14 years the Reno Philharmonic has been performing the free July 4 concert in Mormon Station State Monument.

“I really enjoy the Pops in the Park,” said Commissioner Kelly Kite. “My family alone covers the $100 fee with what we spend over there … but we charge the Boy Scouts, we charge the Girl Scouts, we charge anybody who comes in here.”

The board was supportive of the popular event, but reluctant to start a precedent by waiving the fee.

“We’ve put this on every year for 14 years and never had to apply for this permit before,” said Bob Gaw, also representing the Philharmonic League.

In addition to the $100, Gaw said the permit required extensive paperwork, fingerprinting and identification of donors who contribute more than $500 for the annual event.

“I have one donor who doesn’t want his name revealed,” said Gaw. “I am reluctant to ask Judge (David) Gamble and Sen. (Lawrence) Jacobsen for their fingerprints.”

“Oh, we’ve already got those,” joked Commissioner Bernie Curtis.

“The fact is, there are a lot of hoops to go through to put on a two-hour show for the people of Douglas County.”

Although the concert is free to the 3,000 or so who attend, expenses run $14,000 to $15,000 a year to cover musicians’ pay and other bills.

Commissioner Steve Weissinger said he had phone calls from representatives of half a dozen other organizations who wanted their fees waived if the board granted the Sierra Philharmonic League’s request.

The Record-Courier E-mail: rc@tahoe.com

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