Strasburg Chamber plans Mayfest 2016

One way or another, the Strasburg Chamber of Commerce is looking to host Mayfest 2016.

Recently, the chamber started a capital campaign to raise $8,000 and has trademarked the event under its name.

The chamber announced a new capital campaign in a letter addressed to town businesses and supporters. The letter asks for donations that will go toward an $8,000 budget shortfall it is facing.

Councilman and Chamber President Rich Orndorff said, “With the town donation gone, we have no choice but to do Mayfest – in order to remain viable.”

On June 8, the Strasburg Town Council unanimously approved its budget, and by extension, the reallocation of an $8,000 donation — that had been given to the chamber since 2001 — to a line item reading “Mayfest.”

Along with this reallocation, any organization or group with a desire to host Mayfest can apply for the $8,000 and enter into an agreement with the town to host the event.

Orndorff said that the chamber has used Mayfest as its largest annual fundraiser for many years to help support local businesses.

“It’s our fundraiser, but we have so many organizations that make money off of Mayfest, and we don’t see a penny of that,” Orndorff said.

In order to keep that going, Orndorff indicated that the chamber will be seeking donations to reach an initial $4,000 shortfall of funding that it would have received on July 1 had the donation not been reallocated.

The chamber would have received the other $4,000 from the town after Jan. 1.

Orndorff said the chamber sought to trademark the event once it became apparent they were not going to receive the donation from the town.

On June 11, the chamber filed an application with U.S. Office Patent and Trademark Office and  registered for a standard character mark for “Strasburg Mayfest: Come Stay and Play The Third Weekend in May.”

He said that legal counsel advised the chamber board to seek the trademark back in April. The trademark was being processed when the council voted on the budget June 8.

Orndorff also said that he spoke with Town Mayor Tim Taylor back in May, as the chamber was filing the trademark, but that no talk of the trademark has occurred since that time.

“We made it clear to council and members of the administration that we had trademarked the event,” Orndorff said.

On top of the trademark and that capital campaign, the chamber also intends to apply for the $8,000 Mayfest funding from the town.

Orndorff said the chamber sent a letter to the Assistant Town Manager Jay McKinley following the budget’s approval, notifying the town of its intention to request this funding.

“We understand that [reallocation] is council’s choice … we don’t like it, we’re disappointed, we’re hurt about it,” he said. “We have to understand and move on.”

As a part of its capital campaign, the chamber will be hosting some fundraising events throughout the fall.

Ordorff said the chamber is planning to host Mayfest with or without the town’s donation. He indicated that they began planning for Mayfest 2016 before the 2015 event ended.

“The Chamber of Commerce does not want to get into a dispute about it,” he said. “We just want to apply for the contribution and … continue to put on a community festival.”

Contact staff writer Kevin Green at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or kgreen@nvdaily.com