Mercy Festing

 

When the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake destroyed much of Santa Cruz’s Pacific Garden Mall, the merchants set up hard plastic “pavilions” and soldiered on in them as repairs were slowly made to their buildings.

These relatively cramped hard plastic tents — unheated, uncooled — made for a crappy shopping experience. But Cruzans made a conscious decision to support their community merchants anyway. They called it “mercy shopping.” Their support kept the merchants in business until they could get back in their buildings and return to normal.

There’s a similarity to that in this year’s Asparagus Festival. Stockton’s bankruptcy made it necessary to slash the city’s $350,000 festival subsidy. Nobody wants to say it, but there’s a concern this could trigger a death spiral for the event. Volunteers from charities earn money for their nonprofit base on hours volunteered. When they receive a lot less money, they may decide it’s not worth it.

Plus fewer people came last year.

Now, the concern about volunteers may be misplaced. I certainly hope it is. And the dip in attendance may have been due to the chilling effect of the Boston bombing, as festival organizers conjectured. What matters is that the asparagus festival needs us this year. That event has given us years of pleasure and the best publicity Stockton ever gets. Give it the love it deserves. This year, going is an act of good citizenship.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form.
  • Blog Author

    Michael Fitzgerald

    Mike Fitzgerald is The Record’s award-winning metro columnist. His column runs in the paper three times a week. Born in San Francisco, he was raised in Stockton. His column covers diverse beats including, sometimes, the offbeat. Read Full
  • Categories

  • Archives

  • RSS Related Content