Schaumburg greenlights Septemberfest despite unusually high cost

  • Schaumburg trustees have approved a two-day version of Septemberfest to take place over Labor Day weekend, even though this year's event isn't expected to come anywhere near the usual goal of breaking even financially.

    Schaumburg trustees have approved a two-day version of Septemberfest to take place over Labor Day weekend, even though this year's event isn't expected to come anywhere near the usual goal of breaking even financially. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer, 2011

 
 
Updated 6/23/2021 10:56 AM

Schaumburg trustees Tuesday gave final approval for a scaled-back, two-day version of Septemberfest for the Saturday and Sunday of Labor Day weekend. They also chose a percentage charge on liquor sales as the only one of several options presented to reduce the typically break-even event's estimated $230,000 deficit this year.

"Clearly we knew this was going to cost the village this year, but this was a one-time deal," Mayor Tom Dailly said.

 

He and other village board members felt the cost was justified this year by the pent-up demand for entertainment and socializing already demonstrated by crowds at the village's Summer Breeze concert series.

"People are looking to get out and be out," Dailly said.

Three things that were never on the table when officials began contemplating a 2021 Septemberfest as late as April was a third day on Labor Day, the parade that traditionally occurs that day, and the arts and crafts show whose vendors had largely booked other events.

But a carnival, main stage musical performances, a food tent served by about 10 village restaurants and a fireworks show on Sunday night remained priorities.

The somewhat unusual scenario resulted in a cost estimate of $346,400 and anticipated revenues of $116,100.

Schaumburg Cultural Services Director Jack Netter presented the board with a menu of potential cuts and revenue sources to whittle down the disparity. But trustees chose only the fee on liquor sales that's expected to net about $14,000 from the participating restaurants and another $10,000 from the fundraising sales of the fraternal organization Sons and Daughters of Italy in America.

Among the options they rejected were a $5 admission to the main stage performances that was estimated to bring in $24,000, dropping the stage's $9,000 LED walls where many of the event's sponsors advertise, and losing the fireworks show that would be without a rain date to save $19,500.

Though Dailly described himself as not a big fan of fireworks shows, he thought this one would bring the benefit of declaring the end of this year's shortened Septemberfest on the Sunday night.

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