Do you know how local festivals are operated? All of the people you see managing the events, from budget and marketing to planning and executing, are volunteers.The driving force behind the Long Beach Merchants Association (LBMA), and our merchant association friends at both ends of the Peninsula, is our strong belief that events bring people to the beach and visitors keep stores open.For nearly 30 years, local merchants have designed and produced events to do just that, relying heavily on the support of the community. In fact, Long Beach Peninsula events wouldn’t be possible without the incredible community of volunteers and strong partners supporting the events.
Partnering with the LBMA is the City of Long Beach, who helps fund festivals and utilizes the Long Beach City Crew to do heavy lifting like setting up and breaking down tents, running power and water, hauling trash and the like. Also partnering is the Long Beach Peninsula Visitors Bureau, who promotes the volunteer-produced festivals of LBMA, through press releases, distribution of flyers, and advertising through their print products and on funbeach.com. Merchant partners provide prizes and other in-kind donations needed to make the events a success each year.
But the cornerstones of the festivals are the volunteers who step up to chair events and committees, work booths, organize, set up, break down, keep the budget, order supplies – the list goes on and on. In fact, the LBMA’s history of success rests in the power of volunteers…and so too does its future.
Volunteerism is what keeps events going, and your help is needed. Several festivals are at risk of disappearing because too few people have been doing too many tasks for too long. The economic impact of losing the momentum of years of effort and marketing of a festival is tangible. Merchants experienced it first hand with the –hopefully temporary– loss of the Long Beach Bluegrass Festival, partially because of long-time supporters retiring and a lack of new volunteers stepping up to take their place.
You can have a hand in helping your community and make a difference by being a part of producing these great events, including Loyalty Days, the Beach to Chowder Walk/Run/Half Marathon, Doggie Olympic Games, Sandsations, Jake the Alligator Man’s Birthday, Washington State International Kite Festival, Holidays at the Beach, and the World Kite Museum’s Windless Kite Festival, Asian New Year Celebration and One Sky, One World, International Kite Fly.
LBMA is looking for talent at every level and have lots of different needs, including both small to large time commitments. There are tons of ways you can help!
If you’ve got some time to spare, why not use it to help improve the local economy? Volunteering not only provides a valuable service to your community – it can also be of enormous benefit to volunteers themselves. Now’s your chance to learn and hone marketable skills – and help others in the process.
All you need to do is contact President Jerry (360-977-8491), or visit www.longbeachmerchants.com for more information. LBMA would love to have you!