June 20, 2016 By Michael Florio
The 82nd Street Partnership is anticipating that it will cost more to host Viva La Comida this year than it did in 2015 and has already taken steps to find funding for it.
The popular food and entertainment festival cost the 82nd Street Partnership $11,000 to host it in 2015.
This year, the festival, scheduled for Sept. 17, is likely to cost between $12,000 and $15,000 as participation in the event continues to rise.
The Partnership launched a GoFundMe account last week and is looking to raise $2,500 to help defray the added costs. This is the first year the organization has held a fundraiser for the event.
“We realized the cost of producing the event,” said Executive Director Leslie Ramos said. “We want to keep the quality of the event, but we won’t be able to without additional funds and resources.”
Last year the event—which runs along 82nd Street from Roosevelt to Baxter Avenue–had a record number of participants, as well as the largest crowd in its history, Ramos said.
In total, 14 restaurants, bakeries and coffee shops participated, as well as 11 vendors participated, while over 2,000 people attended throughout the day.
“The event allows us to bring the community together and celebrate our diversity,” Ramos said. “Each year it gets bigger and bigger.”
She hopes the event continues to grow this year.
“We are hoping to match these numbers, if not increase them slightly,” Ramos said. “We have space to add another one or two restaurants or vendors.”
Last year four bands performed, which was the most in the events history. Bands played Colombian music, Latin Jazz, Latin rock and Portuguese music, Ramos said. There was also a clown, as well as featuring the work of local artists.
Ramos hopes to be able to bring back all of these features and doesn’t want to be restricted by cost.
Ramos hopes to raise the money quickly via GofundMe, as it will go toward booking the bands, DJ, and contractors who will help set up the event, she said.
While the organization is asking for $2,500, it will be able to keep whatever it raises. Currently, the partnership has raised $140 from three donors.