Festivals aim for 2007 participants

Thursday, October 5, 2006 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 8:36 a.m. CDT, Thursday, July 17, 2008

Leaders of Columbia’s visioning effort are hoping the lure of free hot dogs, chips and soda will draw plenty of people to Fall Visioning Festivals at local schools this Saturday and the next.

The primary goal of the festivals is to enlist participants for “citizen topic groups” that will begin meeting in January 2007.

While the groups’ specific topics have not been chosen, their eventual assignments will be based on the results of surveys that were distributed through the Columbia Missourian and the Columbia Daily Tribune, as well as online and in public places starting on Sept. 13. The deadline for the surveys was Sept. 29. The questionnaires outlined about 21 potential study areas, including arts and culture, downtown, economic development and energy resources.

Toni Messina, director of communications for the city, said some of those topics could be combined or broadened. Although the date for returning surveys has passed, those who visit the festival will have a chance to voice their preferences.

The festivals have been advertised over the past two months in fliers, brochures and on e-mail Listservs.

Assistant City Manager Paula Hertwig-Hopkins said in a news release that she would be “thrilled” if 300 to 500 people attended the festivals.

“I’m looking forward to people coming and having a good time,” Hertwig-Hopkins said.

Hertwig-Hopkins noted that participation is not restricted to Columbia residents. “Anyone who is interested in the Columbia visioning project is more than welcome.”

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