Herndon Festival FAQ’s 2019 and Beyond
Where will the Herndon Festival be held next year?
The Town expects to sign a memorandum of understanding on May 23rd with a venue that will host the Herndon Festival on their campus May 30-June 2, 2019.
Why is the festival moving?
In 2017, the Town entered into an agreement with Comstock Corporation to redevelop several parcels in the core of the downtown. Among other arrangements, the sale of the property which housed the festival carnival will be under construction beginning in late 2018 or early 2019. The reduced footprint and construction challenges led staff to seek an alternative site.
Why don’t you keep some elements in the downtown and move some to the new site?
Several reasons. While large sections of the downtown are under construction, we anticipate the area will not be conducive to a multi-day event. More importantly, the Town does not have the resources to divide its planning, logistical, and security staff between two separate venues. The Festival committee feels it is in the best interest of the attendees to maintain the event at one location.
When is the HERNDON FESTIVAL coming back to the downtown/Will the HERNDON FESTIVAL come back to the downtown?
Once the redevelopment project is complete, town staff will assess what new events or activities will be appropriate and attractive to the community. The Herndon Festival, as we know it today, likely will not return to the downtown area, due to the loss of the open space to host the carnival and considerable number of vendor, sponsor and volunteer booths required.
What are the dates for next year?
The festival will remain on the weekend following Memorial Day. The dates are May 30 – June 2, 2019.
Are there any financial impacts on the town to move the event?
The festival is budgeted as a break-even event. The department of Parks and Recreation is charged with developing an expense and revenue plan that offset each other. That said, adapting to a new venue will create new logistical challenges, and weather or other factors can potentially impact any outdoor event. The festival has a long history of meeting or exceeding its revenue projections.
Can we have the HERNDON FESTIVAL without the carnival/Why is the carnival considered an integral element to the HERNDON FESTIVAL?
The Herndon Festival was created as a financially self-supporting event. It is budgeted to offset its expenses and has successfully done so 35 of its 37 years. In fact, during its lifetime, the festival has returned surplus revenue of $488,000 to the town’s general fund. The revenue derived from the carnival accounts for 45% of the festival proceeds. Without a carnival the event would have to be curtailed in enough ways that it would not resemble what we now know as the Herndon Festival. Therefore, the committee prefers to maintain the full range of festival activities by keeping the carnival as an integral element.
Will it still be free?
Contingent on Town Council adoption of the festival’s budget, the event will continue to be free and open to the public. As it is currently, some activities, such as the carnival, will require tickets.
Will the HERNDON FESTIVAL still be a family friendly event?
Always. The festival will offer opportunities for many age groups specifically (Hands on Art) and for families and groups of all ages (5K/10K races).
Will the civic groups still be involved?
We couldn’t do it without them! Yes, there will still be volunteer opportunities for civic and community groups to participate in the festival and host a booth if they so desire.
Where do we park/Is there still a shuttle bus?
We expect the free shuttle service will continue to pick up from Worldgate and Herndon High School. We strongly encourage attendees to ride the shuttle bus, use our free bike valet, or walk to the Festival.
Public parking in the area is limited. Options will be announced as we work on next year’s planning.
What type of security can we expect at the new site?
Similar to what you have seen in recent years, the Herndon Festival will take obvious and not so obvious measures to maintain crowd control and security to the best of our ability throughout the event. The festival rules will apply. Herndon Police officers will be present and may pair with members of the Sheriff’s Department or State Police officers pending their availability. Bag checks will be conducted at the entrance gates. Behind the scenes training and preparation by all staff and specific volunteers will continue to occur.
What events will be held at the new site?
As planning gets underway in the fall of 2018, the committee will share Festival events through the website and social media. We expect the carnival, live entertainment, children’s activities, food, craft, sponsor, and volunteer booths to be included. The committee also plans to present some new and different elements to keep the festival fresh and worthy of attendees’ efforts to visit the new site.
What will be the same/what will be different about the HERNDON FESTIVAL at the new site?
Great question. The Herndon Festival will undoubtedly be different at the new site. It will not have the charm of the downtown buildings as its backdrop or the wide open grassy spaces for concert seating. We expect some changes to the festival that will keep it fresh and interesting for our audience.
How will attendees know the location has changed?
We will use all our resources and avenues to communicate this message including the festival and town websites, social media, word of mouth, this year’s festival, volunteer groups, sponsor and festival vendors.
Will there be fireworks?
Unfortunately, there will not be fireworks at the new venue.
Will there still be beer for sale?
We expect the civic groups will continue to sell beer and/or wine.
Will the 10K/5K races continue? Where?
The races will still occur on Sunday morning of the festival, starting and ending at the Herndon Community Center.
Will the name of the event change?
There is no plan to change the name of the Herndon Festival.
Where can I learn more?
Come back here, Herndonfestival.net, or get social with us: https://www.facebook.com/herndonfest