Sausalito Art Festival put on hold due to unforeseen issues, including security costs

ByLauren Martinez via KGO logo
Tuesday, December 10, 2019
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For 67 years, the Sausalito Art Festival has been a go-to event over Labor Day weekend. Unfortunately, officials say next year's festival has been placed on hold.

SAUSALITO, Calif. (KGO) -- For 67 years, the Sausalito Art Festival has drawn thousands of artists and spectators from around the world.

However, next year, the event is being put on hold.

According to the festival's website, one of the reasons is the "skyrocketing costs for security owing to events like the mass shooting at this year's Gilroy Garlic Festival."

RELATED: Tightened security at Fremont's Festival of the Arts after Gilroy shooting

ABC7 spoke with Kay Carlson, a longtime artist that works out of the Industrial Center Building. Carlson has been participating in the Labor Day weekend event for over 25 years.

"I probably get a third of my income from this event," Carlson said.

"I stand on the shoulders of the guys that started the festival. So it started small and local and then it became this large thing," Carlson said.

She says nowadays we take art festivals for granted and we don't realize the amount of planning and effort it takes. Carlson noticed there was heightened security this past festival.

"I heard people say they're not going to the festival this year. I'm afraid. So they beefed up security. I saw the security. And they had to pay for that suddenly," explained Carlson. "So the cost has been rising every year for this festival and I'm really aware of that."

General Manager at The Spinnaker and Chairman of the board for the Sausalito Chamber of Commerce, Jeff Scharosch, said losing the event for even one year is going to be a big deal. Not only from the economic impact for Sausalito but the money all the nonprofits receive.

RELATED: New security plan developed for Santa Clara County Fair in wake of Gilroy shooting

"All of the nonprofits really benefit from it. The Rotary does the parking, you have Lions do the food. Sausalito on the Waterfront is also an organization I'm involved with also does food for the festival and it's going to be impacted on what we can give back to," Scharosch.

Scharosch thinks the foundation will take this year to reorganize itself.

"It's a bigger cost to put the festival on and with less numbers coming to the festival this year it hurt them financially," Scharosch said.

Carlson hopes this will bring more local artists back to the festival if the event returns.

Online the foundation said it will take this year to come up with a new version of the art festival.