DTN Sept 2011

Page 7

N ews Briefs

Your community news and information source

REDA drops Cinco de Mayo festival T

he Riverview Economic Development Association (REDA) will no longer manage the annual Cinco de Mayo celebration on the West Side. REDA, which has organized the event for over 20 years using mostly volunteer help, lost more than $50,000 on this year’s fiesta, held May 6 and 7. The event was started by West Side residents to celebrate their Mexican heritage. Cinco de Mayo (May 5) commemorates the date the Mexican militia gained victory over the French Army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. It has since evolved into

a massive event that attracts more than 100,000 visitors annually and has become one of the ten largest Cinco de Mayo celebrations in the country. REDA assumed management of the event as a way to promote the West Side business district, now branded as District del Sol, and raise funds to reinvest into commercial development. However, it has been several years since the event has turned a profit. In fact, this is the second year the organization has incurred significant financial loss. The REDA board of directors is undergoing an

extensive internal evaluation to redefine its purpose. In recent months each member of its 4-person staff resigned or left for other positions. REDA is now under contract through November with Suzann Eisenberg Murray to serve as its interim executive director. Murray is the owner and partner of the Dendros Group, a nonprofit consulting firm that specializes in working with organizations in transition. REDA is exploring ways to help another community group take over the Cinco de Mayo fiesta.

Photo by Marina Castillo

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