BATH — As the first paid coordinator of the city’s Heritage Days celebration, Ed Rogers is looking for more sponsors to beef up the budget of the annual event.
“Most of the local businesses support (Heritage Days) in a big way,” Rogers, who was hired in December and co-owns J.R. Maxwell’s restaurant, said Tuesday. “And we get a good hunk of revenue off the carnivals.”
The biggest expense of the event, which runs this year from July 2-5, are the free concerts that span all four days. “We’ve got a lot of bands, and they’re expensive,” he said. “… So we need quite a lot of money, and by having a paid guy, that gives me more time to go around to all the businesses that contribute.”
This year, Rogers is going after sponsors at the state and national level, and he is presenting Heritage Days as a venue worth their investment. “Volunteers just don’t have the time or the know-how to go them,” he said.
Last year’s budget was about $50,000, a number Rogers is hoping to expand to $75,000 or $80,000.
Rogers said Heritage Days organizers are trying to attract better bands this year to draw more people. In the same vein, the time-honored events making up Heritage Days will remain the same, but should only be better, he explained.
Those events will be tied into a common theme, which is tentatively expected to be “Eighty Hours of Bath.” Not only is the title a nod to Jules Verne’s “Around the World in Eighty Days,” but also to Bath City Hall’s 80 years and the roughly 80 hours that Heritage Days runs. The parade will even feature 80-year-old people.
Since July 4 falls on a Saturday, the popular fireworks display will be held the following night, as opposed to Independence Day, in order to close out Heritage Days with a literal bang.
Also on its final night, Heritage Days is expected to host the Boston-based James Montgomery Blues Band, while the ’80s hard-rock cover band Twyce Shy is expected to play the night before.
Since the triathlon did not take place last year, the organizers are trying to pull it together for this year. “Right now I’d say that’s 50-50,” Rogers said.
The way that Heritage Days promotes itself may be changing, too. Rogers wants to create a half-hour show with Bath Community TV, a documentary of this year’s event that would serve to promote Heritage Days 2010.
Other Heritage Days events include a firemen’s muster, 5K run, craft shows, art in the park, strongman competition, library book sales, Rotary barbecue and chili/chowder fest.