Due to a late start followed by an early closure of its carnival, City of Wyoming officials expect its revenues to be “significantly” less than last year, coming in under $10,000, way below the $30,000 goal.
Wintry weather caused a delay in the opening of the spring carnival, moving the opening from Friday, April 8, to Monday, April 11. Despite the delay, city officials said if the weather cooperated, they felt they could make their goals.
The weather did turn warmer, but the city closed the carnival at various times on Thursday and Friday due to shooting incidents near the event. City officials officially announced the shutdown of the annual event at the former Studio 28 parking lot on the morning of April 16, about two days before the scheduled conclusion. City officials made the decision to close the carnival because of the shooting incidents. The first was on Thursday, April 14, when a 19-year-old man showed up at Metro Hospital with a gunshot wound to the leg. While witnesses to the shooting were uncooperative, Wyoming police officers believed the this shooting took place in the parking lot next to 1350 28th St. SW.
On Friday, April 15, officers heard a gunshot in a parking lot south of the carnival. The officers witnessed a vehicle leaving and made a traffic stop, discovering two guns and arresting three people on weapon charges. Both events are still under investigation.
“We are still working on the final numbers,” said Wyoming’s Community Services Director Rebecca Rynbrandt about the carnival, adding that the city is working with the carnival vendor on expenses he had to incur do to the early closure.
“We are expecting our portion to be significantly less than what we had hoped,” Rynbrandt said. She said that the estimated amount is less than $10,000. Last year, the city earned about $26,000. The money from the carnival is split between the Wyoming Parks and Recreation Department and the Greater Wyoming Community Resource Alliance (GWRCA). The Parks and Recreation Department uses the money to help with park needs. The GWRCA funds youth scholarships and youth and family programming through the Parks and Recreation Department.
Rynbrandt said officials will be reviewing park needs and funding along with meeting with GWRCA to assess funding and programs.
As for the future of the carnival, Rynbrandt said the city is still reviewing all of its options.
“One thing people should be aware is that carnivals themselves are not bad and provide wonderful services in the city of Wyoming,” Rynbrandt said, emphasizing that none of the incidents took place at the carnival. Rynbrandt added that city officials want to wrap up this year’s event and then take a step back to look at everything such as location and time of year.
“Our number one priority is public safety,” Rynbrandt said. “As sponsor of the event we hold ourselves to a much higher accountability in that regards.”
Captain Kim Koster, from the Wyoming Department of Public Safety echoed the city’s commitment to safety of its residents and visitors. With safety at the forefront, Koster said the department is working with other organizers on upcoming city events.
“Our Department of Public Safety has and will continue to worked with the Wyoming Kentwood Chamber of Commerce and the participating businesses to determine and provide the appropriate level of police presence for the Metro Cruise, and we are always happy to work with other community organizations to plan for similar events.,” Koster said. “Similarly, public safety has worked with the Community Clean-Up Day [which takes place this Saturday] committee to determine the appropriate level of police presence for the day’s activities.”
Rynbrandt noted that the city does accept donations for its park and recreation programs. Anyone interested in donating, should contact the City of Wyoming’s Park and Recreation Department.