LaSalle Strawberry Festival to be Held at Vollmer Complex
At the October 22, 2019 Regular Meeting of LaSalle Council, members agreed to locate the LaSalle Strawberry Festival to the Vollmer Culture and Recreation Complex for the next three years. The festival was moved from Gil Maure Park to the Vollmer Complex last June due to the high water level in the Detroit River that caused overland flooding in the parking lots and boat launch at the end of Laurier Drive, and along properties on Front Road and surrounding streets.
When Council agreed to move the festival in May 2019, the intention was to move it for 2019 only. In a report to LaSalle Council at the October 22, 2019 meeting, administration recommended that the festival be held at the Vollmer Complex for the next five years. After deliberating about the issue, a motion was passed to relocate the festival to the Vollmer Complex for the next three years.
“For the time being, the relocation makes sense to allow administration to begin putting their plans in place for the logistics of the event. We don’t want to wait and then have to move the festival at the last minute again.” -Mayor Marc Bondy
The relocation is to address concerns raised by the Essex Region Conservation Authority which has advised that water levels are expected to remain high for the foreseeable future and into next year. By making the decision to relocate the festival this far in advance, it will allow the Culture and Recreation Department to consider what rentals, programs and sports would be scheduled on the same weekend. Since parking was an issue last year, other activities at the Vollmer Complex could be kept to a minimum, allowing the majority of the parking to be used for the Strawberry Festival.
In addition, Council members also agreed to spend $170,000 from the Culture and Recreation Reserves on the installation of permanent infrastructure including a power feed and power boxes in Parking Lot 3, as well a water line. This infrastructure can then be used for future events, festivals and/or rentals.