City to cut back on blues fests, add other concerts
HARLINGEN — The Harlingen Convention and Visitor’s Bureau is reworking its calendar for this year and next, and intends to reduce the number of Blues on the Hill concerts and to hold Freedom Fest on July 3.
Cassandra Consiglio, the CVB director, told the board yesterday turnout for the first Blues on the Hill of the year is always highest, and the city instead will offer concerts with broader musical genres to replace them.
“This will be the 19th year for Blues on the Hill,” she said. “We used to have four of them.
“We have noticed that the first one is the one that’s most heavily attended by blues fanatics and I would like to keep that one true to form and make sure that we are still having just blues music on that one,” she added. “In June we usually have a Blues on the Hill but I would like to turn that into a Concert at the Park, so we can include different genres.”
Another Concert at the Park will replace Blues on the Hill in August.
Consiglio also proposed what she called a “spring fling” activity for children in March.
“I would like to work with HCISD and maybe we can get some of their bands to participate in a little spring event for children because we don’t have anything going on in March,” she said.
Another change in the 2019 schedule will be holding Freedom Fest on July 3 instead of the traditional date, the Fourth of July.
“The Fourth of July is one of our biggest events, Freedom Fest,” she said. “That is an event that last year we had three big concerts and the park was completely at capacity.
“This year we are planning on doing it on July 3,” she added. “We think this is the best day for us because we’re not competing with any Valley event. By us having it on the 3rd we are having no competition with anybody, and people can join us from the Upper Valley and Lower Valley.”
Gabe Gonzalez, assistant city manager, said having Freedom Fest on July 3 also will save the city a significant amount of money.
“That also reduces our expense because we don’t have to pay overtime,” he said.
Gonzalez also noted the venue will have to change from Lon C. Hill Park for this Freedom Fest because Hill will be “out of service” due to renovations. No new site has been determined.
The CVB board voted to approve all of the proposed changes in the events calendar.