At the Nov. 21 Idyllwild Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) meeting, Jazz in the Pines Logistic Director Ted Cummings informed the directors that festival planners do not plan to continue their Jazz and Jambalaya Saturday night dinner and entertainment. This will also eliminate any conflict with the in-town Marshall Hawkins jazz concert which the Chamber sponsored this year..
Cummings reported that in a survey of festival attendees, more than 50 percent did not frequent Idyllwild businesses or attractions and 25 percent thought the intersection of Saunders Meadow Road adjacent to Idyllwild School was all there was of Idyllwild.
“At each of the three venues, starting at midday, announcers will mention the in-town jazz concert,” said Cummings. “In addition we’ll keep parking lots hosted and open until 10 p.m. and provide one of our bus transports to ferry festival attendees into town and back to their cars.” Cummings said volunteers at the parking lots would be equipped with lights and radios. He requested that the emcee of the in-town concerts announce the last bus run back to the jazz festival parking lot.
Chamber directors were clearly appreciative of this effort by Jazz Fest organizers to take further steps to integrate the town and festival. Chamber President Nick Todd said he thought this would be very helpful to the in-town concerts.
In other Chamber business, Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema Director Steve Savage talked of his plans to court town businesses. Savage said he would go door to door to ask merchants how the film festival could help them. “I don’t want the festival to be a satellite independent of the town and its businesses,” said Savage.
On Dec. 19, for the next Chamber meeting, Todd announced an open house at Town Hall to preview Chamber’s plans for the next year and feature speakers like Savage, who have events that local merchants could use for co-marketing purposes. Savage said he would attend.
Karen Doshier, who along with Marge Muir heads the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting committee that now operates under the aegis of the Chamber, reported the purchase of new lights for the tree after 51 were damaged or destroyed following last year’s ceremony. The cost was $1,100.
Doshier thought that some of the damage to the lights was intentional and cited leaving the lights up through March as a factor. Last year there was a problem getting a crew to remove the lights in a timely manner. Her goal this year is to pull them the first weekend in January. Doshier sought help from the Chamber for volunteers to pass donation jars during this year’s festival to help defray future costs of staging the Tree Lighting.
Todd reported the Chamber bus would operate between the Harvest Festival at Town Hall and the Tree Lighting venue downtown. In other business, Joann Slater, 2nd Vice President and Membership Chair, reported Chamber membership at 119 business members and 32 individual. Treasurer Kim Mueller reported $4,600 in the monument account and slightly more than $1,000 in the general checking account.