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Festival needs money to stay free Robert Moreno | Sat, Feb 15 2014 12:00 PM

The South Bay Pride Festival may charge its attendees to enter the festival, should organizers fall short of raising the money needed to hold the free annual event.

Each year attendance to the festival has risen, from 600 in its first year in 2007, to 2,500 at last year’s event.

“We’ve grown really each year, a rather good boost,” said Dae Elliot, chair of the steering committee for the South Bay Alliance Association, a non-profit organization that aims to build a business network of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender businesses in the South Bay.

Elliot said board members cancelled the event in 2012 because of what she called “poor planning.”

For South Bay Pride 2014, Elliot said she is anticipating 5,000 people will attend the event.

In an effort to keep the arts and music festival free of charge, South Bay Alliance is hosting a slew of fundraising events.

A Critters and Cocktails fundraising event is being held Thursday, Feb. 20, in a joint effort with the Living Coast Discovery Center.

The mixer will take place at Celebration Hall in Imperial Beach from 6 to 9 p.m.

Attendees of the mixer are asked to give a $10 cash donation at the door.

Half of the proceeds from that mixer will help fund the pride festival, while Chula Vista’s aquatic zoo will get the other half. 

If the organization cannot raise the $5,000 it needs to maintain the free event, Elliot said it would consider charging $5.

“If we get the support and the sponsorship (then) we want it free,” she said. “But the reality is it costs quite a bit to pull off.”

South Bay Pride is scheduled for Sept. 13 at Bayfront Park from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

To make a donation, or for more information visit www.southbayalliance.com.

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