Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on June 7th, 2012 at 9:42 am
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)
The Cirque du Cycling, a popular event that has taken place on N Mississippi Street every year since 2008 (see our past coverage), will not take place this year. According to the event's organizers, Good Sport Promotion, and its title sponsor, Laughing Planet Cafe, the Cirque will take a one-year hiatus due to a lack of sponsorship support.
"I am of course disappointed because many people including myself put in a lot of hard work to make this event happen."
— Franz Spielvogel, co-owner of Laughing Planet Cafe
With a major criterium race, an art bike parade, family ride, cargo bike race and a fun and festive atmosphere, the Cirque du Cycling has won a lot of fans over the years. The "cycling circus" was first held in 2008 and Laughing Planet Cafe has been its primary sponsor each year. Laughing Planet co-owner Franz Spielvogel dreamed up the Cirque five years ago. His cafe has a location on Mississippi and he also lives in the area.
Spielvogel says after establishing the Cirque for its first three years, Laughing Planet and Good Sport Promotion handed over coordination of the event to the Historic Mississippi Business Association (Laughing Planet stayed on as the main sponsor, covering 50% of the cost plus additional marketing support). Unfortunately, Spielvogel says, the business association ended up with a budget deficit after managing the event last year.
"Because of the deficit and limited fundraising capabilities," Spielvogel shared with us via email this morning, "the business association wanted to limit their involvement and in a sense give the event back to Laughing Planet Cafe."
The decision by the business association to not manage the event was only made earlier this year, which Spielvogel says made it difficult for him to gather the necessary financial support to fill the budget gap. "We raised $21,000 out of the $30,000 needed to put on this event."
Spielvogel says he's, "disappointed" the event won't happen this year, "because many people including myself put in a lot of hard work to make this event happen."
Ayleen Crotty with Good Sport Promotions says it was a "very difficult decision" to not hold the event this year. "This is a sponsorship-driven event," she shared with us yesterday, "and in these challenging economic times, we just could not raise enough funds to cover our basic event costs (permits, insurance, equipment, etc.) to run such a large scale event."
On the bright side, this seems to be just a temporary hiatus. Spielvogel says he fully expects the Cirque to return in 2013, and when it does it will be in a different neighborhood with some "new features."