Good ideas for Fiestas

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By Optic Editorial Board

Now that the city is running the show, it is coming up with some good ideas on how to make Fiestas de Las Vegas an even better event.

Its best one is to develop ways to bring more children to the annual July event. As it stands, the main attraction at Fiestas is the entertainment in the Plaza gazebo. And that should remain the case.

But as for kids’ activities, there are very few, other than a jumping castle and a few games. City officials are thinking of bringing other things to attract children such as a climbing wall and a mini-carnival.

Years ago, the Fiestas had a carnival — a natural attraction for kids. While it may be difficult to get a carnival for next year’s Fiestas, we should try to get one in the long-term. Heck, if similarly sized Deming can get a carnival for its county fair every year, then Las Vegas should do the same for its trademark event.

The city also aims to get the involvement of local merchants in Fiestas. As we all know, most of the vendors at the event are from out of town — a cause for concern for decades. While there may not be an easy solution to this situation, it never hurts to think of new ways to help local businesses.

We like that the city is putting out a public call for volunteers to help with Fiestas de Las Vegas. The city hopes to appoint those interested to committees organizing the various parts of Fiestas.

The former Fiesta Council, the nonprofit organization that ran Fiestas for a number of years until the city put it out of business in November, was a rather exclusive, closed group. Indeed, it terminated a third of its membership in July and hadn’t put out a call for volunteers.

The city, on the other hand, answers to the public. So its finances and operation of the Fiestas will be available for all to see.

Still, we’re not inclined to have the city run the Fiestas on a long-term basis. Once the city finds capable volunteers, we hope it will hand off the Fiestas to a new group.

Organizing the Fiestas should be open to the public and accountable to the community. Fiestas is Las Vegas’ event; it’s not the domain of any particular clique.

We think the city is off to a good start in planning next year’s big event.