Cary’s largest event – the Lazy Daze Arts & Crafts Festival – could get even larger next year if the Cary Town Council approves expanding the 2016 festival to two days.
On Thursday, Dec. 10, the council will consider the expansion of the event in 2016, the second time it will be located on Town Hall Campus. Until this year, the festival has been held along South Academy and Chatham streets.
Lazy Daze was moved to the Town Hall Campus this year because of construction along South Academy Street. It will remain at that location at least one more year because of uncertainly surrounding the final construction schedule, town officials said.
“We’re at the point where we just had to make a decision, because you have to get the information out to artists,” said Lyman Collins, the town’s cultural arts manager.
This year featured 325 new and returning arts and craft vendors from across the country along with five stages of musical acts, food trucks and crafts.
Collins said having Lazy Daze at the Town Hall Campus again will give the town the opportunity to test a two-day event, which he said often is requested by artists and the public.
A two-day Lazy Daze festival would cost an additional $49,678, including police, advertising, entertainment and other costs, compared to the 2015 event, according to staff estimates. It would raise an additional $47,400, staff said. The estimates are conservative, according to a staff report.
The staff is recommending expanding the Lazy Daze festival to a two-day event for 2016 and evaluating the results before planning the 2017 festival. The event could tentatively run from Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 6 or 7 p.m. , and Sunday, from noon to 5 or 6 p.m.
Such an expansion was not possible in the former location, Collins said, because of Sunday church services at First Baptist Church and First United Methodist Church on South Academy Street. Even though the festival would not be open during church services, tents left set up could could make access difficult.
“It would be very difficult for people to attend church services or to get in easily,” Collins said.
But once the downtown projects are completed, including streetscapes and the new Downtown Park, Collins said it may be possible to hold a two-day festival on South Academy and Chatham streets.
“It is definitely our intention to return to the Academy Street layout,” he said.
When the town relocates Lazy Daze to the original location, Collins said, town staff plans to take some of the lessons learned while it was held at the Town Hall Campus site.
“We have gotten a lot of positive feedback, relative to the fact that it has felt looser and it hasn’t felt so jammed together, tent after tent,” he said. “... and (we will) take advantage of shade when we can.”
In other business
The council also will:
▪ Recognize the 2015 Town of Cary Employee of the Year
▪ Consider reducing the masonry requirement for attached residential developments in the town center from 75 percent to 35 percent, provided the difference is made up with wood siding or fiber cement siding.
▪ Consider rezoning 2.57 acres from general commercial to mixed-use district to allow a hotel with up to six stories and up to 108 rooms at 555 Crossroads Blvd.
▪ Consider approving a priority list for sidewalk projects for fiscal year 2016.
▪ Consider the feasibility of the town acquiring the Coronado Village Pond and surrounding property with the potential of transforming it into a public park.
Kathryn Trogdon: 919-460-2608; @KTrogdon