Some months ago, a few people came to a county commissioners meeting to complain of events in Wickham Park. Specifically the Brevard Renaissance Fair.
With no true knowledges of our event, no one to speak on our behalf, and nobody from our organization present to plead our case, the County Commissioners made a unilateral uninformed decision to ban events from running for more than two weeks, and to keep at least one weekend free of events per month, for the months of January to April.
Mary Ellen Donner, the Parks and Recreation Manager for Brevard County, insists that this decision is not aimed at our event but serves to allow people time to use the trails and enjoy the park free of obstruction.
Our fair site takes up 14 acres of a nearly 300 acre park. We do not obstruct the use of trails, trail heads, restrooms, or pavilions. We take a sun-bleached field (or if not sun bleached, flooded and muddy) and work day and night to transform it into a magical village for all to join the revelry therein. Her argument does not hold water, unlike the undeveloped field we rent each January and February to the tune of $50,000 dollars a year.
Over nine years we have paid the county an excess of 450,000 dollars in park rental alone, not including permits, taxes, camping fees, etc.
Visitors to this fair occupy thousands of hotel beds in this county. They buy meals from local restaurants, and fill their tanks before returning to their homes and telling everyone what a great place Brevard County is.
Brevard is our home. We want to stay here. But we can’t do it without your help.
We’re not Walt Disney and this isn’t the 60’s. We can’t buy huge swaths of wetlands and turn them into magic, especially without support from our local government.
There are no other parks that can facilitate our unique needs, either.
We have located two or three possible solutions within Brevard County. One of which is to remain at Wickham Park. The others involve other tracts of undeveloped land.
None of these solutions are possible without support and assistance from the County Commissioners.
Make no mistake, there are other places in Florida that want what we bring to the table, and they have reached out to us. But they aren’t our home.
So we need your help. There are four very important things that you can do to keep the Brevard Renaissance Fair in Brevard County.
1. Like, comment, and share this post. This is an incredible way to raise awareness in your community.
2. Click on the change dot org petition linked in the comments, and add your name to our growing petition. Bonus points for adding a personal comment.
3. Write personally to the people in charge. We’re including their email addresses at the bottom of this post. Tell them how you feel. If you live in their district, tell them your vote is on the line. Pledge to donate to their opponents. If you don’t live in their district, let them know that you will be taking your tourism dollars elsewhere.
4. Join us at the next county commissioners meeting on February 6th at 5:00pm. Prepare words for the commissioners. If we all show up and make our voices heard in person, they can not ignore us.
Collectively, the County Commissioners and the Parks and Recreation manager leach over $340,000 from Brevard County with their salaries. Without the revenue from events like ours, who is stuck with the bill for their paychecks? You, the people.
The Brevard Renaissance Fair is one of the most artistic and culturally significant events in the Brevard County, and should stay right here where it belongs.
These career bureaucrats and cowardly politicians make uninformed decisions against the overwhelming will of their constituents, and think their jobs are safe.
They think they can do whatever they want and nobody will stop them.
The only question is, what are you going to do about it?