The group has operated the festival for the past two years and this week received city approval to continue.
The move does not sit well with the Upland Downtown Organizational Team -- a joint venture of several local nonprofits in the city -- who wanted to take over the management of the annual three-day festival, which celebrates the city's citrus heritage.
"The Learning Center has established a great track record, showing that they are capable of running and operating an event of this magnitude, which no other local group has been able to demonstrate," said
"We applied for it last year," he said. "We're doing an
But Guthrie said the city council approval the prior year was to allow the centers to produce and manage the 2014 Lemon Festival and to continue to do so until the event no longer makes business for them.
It is estimated that 55,000 attended the three-day festival, which resulted in
The festival was founded in 1997 and has grown into a three-day downtown event that offers many food and business vendors, a lemon theme food, performances, kids' activities, carnival rides and games.
"Somewhere down the road maybe it will work," she said.
In 2011, when
This marked the first year that the city manager's office did not receive any complaints about the festival, Guthrie said. Given the overall success of the event, Guthrie said, staff recommended a longer contract.
As part of the contract, the centers give a portion of the proceeds back to the community. Information about the available funding was posted on the city's website and on
The following four nonprofits were selected as beneficiaries:
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