Local News

Organizers Continue To Deal With Money Issues From Festival Of Flight

Posted August 5, 2003

— Festival of Flight organizers say you cannot put a price tag on all the positive publicity the Fayetteville event generated. But because of low attendance, the festival landed about $200,000 in the red.

From tents to toilets, many vendors continue to wait for their money from the event.

"I still have faith I will be paid," said Wayne Williams, of Affordable Portables.

While some vendors are bitter, Williams said he understands.

"We all like to get paid. That's the object of the game, but we have to realize too when you do something of this magnitude, there's a chance in losing money," he said.

Emerging from a meeting, festival committee members pledged not to consider bankruptcy, but they know finding money for a event that is over will not be easy.

"Obviously, it's a disappointment. We had hoped to raise money without leaving anyone without full payment. But right now, we are counting on raising the money, talking to the city, county and state and anybody else who will mail a check," committee chairman Mac Healy said.

The city manager said he has not received a formal request to try to get taxpayers to help with the bailout. The North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources says its money is already committed to a December celebration at Kitty Hawk.

Now that the event is over, there is no longer any full-time staff, which leaves all of the fund-raising to volunteer committee members. Volunteers said they have raised a small amount by contacting old sponsors. The committee says it will meet monthly until all financial issues are resolved.

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