Parking fees set aside for La Mesa festivals

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The La Mesa City Council approved a resolution to shift $99,440 from the Downtown Parking Fund to the Downtown Village Enhancement Fund Budget for Fiscal Year 2021-22 during a Sept. 14 meeting.

Half the funding was gathered from parking fees between 2019-20 and the second half was approved for transfer in May 2021 as a one-time allocation on hand from parking fund reserves. All of the funding is slated for the Village Enhancement Fund and will be used on community events and associated advertising expenses intended to benefit the village as a whole.

First on the approved list: $30,500 for Oktoberfest 2021, organized by McFarlane Promotions.

Following Oktoberfest, the La Mesa Village Association will be receiving $71,332 for their Holiday in the Village 2021 event, and $26,129 for the LMVA Car Show 2022.

LMVA was also approved for $35,000 in funding that LMVA spokesperson Elizabeth Ranta said they will use to promote local shops and restaurants in an effort to benefit the entire downtown area.

LMVA plans to produce short videos featuring downtown businesses “to make sure people know who we are, what we offer and choose the village for their holiday shopping, dining and more,” which Ranta said they plan to share on social media and their website.

Additionally, they are planning an outdoor advertising campaign prior to the winter holiday season to encourage people to frequent at shop at the many shops and restaurants in downtown La Mesa during the holiday season, Ranta said.

“Advertising promotes the businesses in our downtown village in order to drive more visitors to shops and restaurants, something all business owners need after the past eighteen months of the pandemic,” Ranta said.

In planning Holiday in the Village, Ranta said they decided to go with a single day event and are working closely with the San Diego Health Department on their expectations and requirements.

“At this time, we are not requiring people to be vaccinated or wear masks to attend. The event will be bigger than last year, incorporating the kids area and activities as well as fire pits and live music. In lieu of the Santa Claus photo area, we have opted for three fun themed photo areas where people can take selfies.”

The county of San Diego has approved each event’s safety and sanitation plan and extra measures have been put in place by LMVA as well as McFarlane Promotions.

In an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic that has not yet dissipated, McFarlane Promotions Owner Laurel McFarlane said Oktoberfest organizers will be asking people who are not vaccinated to mask at the event.

Oktoberfest is on Oct. 1 from 4 to 8 p.m. on La Mesa Blvd.

Holiday in the Village is planned for Dec. 4 from 12 to 9 p.m. on La Mesa Blvd.

The 2022 La Mesa Classic Car Show will feature live bands from early June through the end of August 2022.

Parking fees set aside for La Mesa festivals