Hand extended to Cinco committee
In general agreement that the De Soto Cinco de Mayo Celebration is a special community event, De Soto City Council members agreed to work with its organizing committee to address concerns so the May event can return to the Community Center.
The council was approached last month by the Cinco organizing committee, which includes Duke Neeland, who has been active on the committee since he was on the council when the festival started in 2000.
The Cinco representatives gave the council a letter, listing items needed from the city if the festival was to return to the Community Center.
Last Thursday, the council agreed the celebration was a distinctive enough event for enough people in the community to warrant consideration beyond that given those renting the Community Center for wedding receptions, family reunions or other private events. They agreed the festival was special enough to warrant consideration for funding beyond the $1,000 limit the council adopted as the cap for organizations, such as the De Soto High School After-Prom Committee, seeking donations.
Councilman Tim Maniez said that upon reflection, he agreed with the Cinco de Mayo festival importance and agreed to meet and work with its organizers about city concerns. Those include questions of security, protection of the gymnasium floor from food and drink spills and some of its finances.
The council approved a policy last year that banned the serving of food and drinks in the gymnasium. At that time, there was discussion of purchasing mats to protect the floor or allowing those renting the gym to rent the mats for events.
Council members said their first choice would be to limit food and drink to the Senior Center but were receptive to them being served in the gym if mats were in place and organizers limited their consumption on them.