Running a small business in a small town like Fallon can be difficult, especially considering the bearish economy of the past five years or so. Yet Fallon Festival Association Inc., organizer of Fallon Cantaloupe Festival, ran solely by volunteers has proved that with an intimate, community-focused approach to business, solid management and a self-sufficient mindset, local events can survive even the toughest of economic climates. Not to mention the numerous events taking place throughout Nevada on the Labor Day weekend.
First and foremost, Fallon Festival Association Inc., a non-profit corporation, who took over the management of the Fallon Hearts of Gold Cantaloupe Festival in 2010 from the previous organization when the historical event was in financial trouble and faced demise. With the acquisition we inherited $15,000 debt and had to satisfy that debt before we could proceed with our business plan. The organization was fortunate to find a private party that believed in us and our business plan, and loaned us the money to proceed.
We operate within the scope of our structured business budget and goals. Our takeover in 2010 not only faced negative cash flow, but negative public opinion and unworthy criticism. Our team focus was to work diligently to correct the public image and let the facts speak for themselves.
The 2010 festival was our first and successful year. This allowed us to pay the private loan back in full and had a cash surplus for the 2011 festival. Our organization implemented measures into our annual event to collect valuable and factual data on festival results. One important statistic we collected the past three years is the attendance record at our events.
With the 2010 & 2011 data collected we chose not to continue Monday operations.
We have listened to the community requests to bring back a carnival. All efforts to hire a carnival for the festival have proven difficult. Our carnival search includes Oregon, Idaho, Utah, California and Arizona with no availability for Labor Day weekend. This does not mean we are giving up and will continue the search. We have an open mind to suggestions of what the community would like to see at the event that actually belongs to the City of Fallon and its people.
FFAI is proud of our achievements and we provide an annual event report containing full financial and statistical accounting to our major sponsors. Without the ongoing community financial support and volunteer assistance our success would be jeopardized.
We are always in need of volunteers for the festival. We are also open to help, please feel free to be a part of the team that makes this happen.