The City of Houston has canceled this year's New Year's Eve celebration at Discovery Green because of lack of funding.
“It was a great event for the past two years and I think it will be again,” said Susan Christian, from the Mayor's Special Projects office. “We just ran out of time to raise the money necessary for such a big event.”
The city has been a part of the event for the last two years drawing thousands to the Discovery Green Park for what has been a family themed New Year's Eve event and that may be part of the unique problem.
Most New Year's Eve events aren't marketed as family friendly affairs so big dollar sponsors are taking a cautious approach to attaching their names.
“Houstonians have thoroughly enjoyed this event but it's very expensive to put on.” Christian said. “It takes about $500,000 to make it happen and while we do have several major sponsors that are just about ready to sign on to this event, they just aren't ready to write a check this year,” she said.
Barry Mandel is the President of Discovery Green Park and said the New Year's Eve event has been a great asset to the park because of the quality of the performers.
“They have spent a lot of money on bringing in high quality talent and family oriented of performers,” Mandel said. “That kind of show to that kind of audience is expensive to put on. The city really worked hard to put on great bands and entertainment that really focused on making it a first class family event.”
The New Year's Eve event is one of the hundreds the City of Houston sponsors each year costing millions of dollars and each one has its own financial liability.
This years lack of sponsorship seems to be more about bad timing rather than lack of potential sponsors. Susan Christian says she is quite confident the event has a very good chance to be back on the agenda next year.
“We just reached a point of no return this year and ran out of time,” said Christian.