Home / Events / Organizer responds to Safety Harbor Snow Fest 2015 complaints

Organizer responds to Safety Harbor Snow Fest 2015 complaints

Large crowds and high temps made Safety Harbor Snow fest 2015 a less than enjoyable experience for some patrons.
Large crowds and high temps made Safety Harbor Snow Fest 2015 a less than enjoyable experience for some patrons.

High temperatures, inadequate parking and an unexpectedly large turnout were some of the factors that combined to make Safety Harbor Snow Fest 2015 a less-than-enjoyable experience for some patrons on Saturday, according to event organizer Amber Lundgren.

The festival, which returned to Safety Harbor after a one-year hiatus and served as a fundraiser for the Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation, attracted more than 12,000 people to City Park, Lundgren said. The huge turnout forced people to park as far as 3 miles away, leading to disgruntled guests who then had to wait in lengthy lines, only to learn that the snow machine had to be shut down due to the heat.

In a statement that she shared with Safety Harbor Connect, Lundgren thanked those who attended Snow Fest, which she said raised more than $25,000 for the cause.

“Thank you to all of you who came out to the Safety Harbor Snow Fest,” Lundgren wrote. “Your support was so incredibly overwhelming that it caused high volume and a lot of crowds. While we apologize to those who were disappointed, we are thankful for the incredible support for the Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation.”

High temps led to slushy conditions at Safety Harbor Snow Fest 2015. Credit: Amber Lundgren.
High temps led to slushy conditions at Safety Harbor Snow Fest 2015. Credit: Amber Lundgren.

“The struggles some of us felt tonight are nothing in comparison to what the children we are supporting face on a daily basis,” the statement continued.

“We have learned many lessons from this year’s event. We always welcome your input, ideas, and especially volunteers to help. We wish you and your families a very happy and healthy holiday season.”

While some people took to social media to complain about the ordeal they went through on Saturday, others were quick to point out the purpose of the event.

“There may have been a couple unfortunate issues with the event,” local restauranteur Aaron Stewart wrote on the Safety Harbor Connect Facebook page. “Number one being the snow machine breaking. This event is for a great cause (Childhood cancer research) coordinated by a great family though. This was their first year heading the event. I am sure they will look at each issue and work to improve those areas for a more efficient festival next year.”

“Let’s not be so quick to judge someone that is out there investing their time to do great things,” Stewart added. “I commend the effort put forward and look forward to seeing the event evolve and grow in the future.”

Though Lundgren originally said prior to Snow Fest 2015 that they would be hosting the event again next year, she admitted the circumstances surrounding what transpired on Saturday forced her and her family to rethink that decision.

“I don’t think we will be picking up the event next year. Their (sic) are just too many variables,” she wrote. “We will do our due diligence and give ourselves enough time to create an event that is more manageable and for a smaller audience.”

“We learned a lot from this event,” she added. “More importantly, we raised over $25,000 for pediatric cancer research.”

Did you attend Safety Harbor Snow Fest 2015? If so, what are your thoughts about the event? Let us know in the comments below.

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  1. We are all creatures of comfort & fairness, when a family drives far to an event & waits on a long line then are told machine broke down; you can be sure they are not going to be happy about it especially with the kids crying & screaming “I want snow” so basically you got an audience who also feels the same as that family & you bet they are going to complain as for those who are saying it is for a great charity, yes you bet it is however for me & my friends we would much prefer to write a check or donate merchandise directly to a charity we support instead of waiting in a long line then being told sorry machine broke down, well for the most part these events are created for families to have fun & make special holiday memories and it is wrong to ruin their time!! Here’s a solution & message to Amber Lundgren, I personally don’t know you except through mutual friends but I can see your passion & so much love in your heart for little children who deserve a long healthy life therefore it is so wrong of you to quit so please please do not quit, it would be a huge shame after all your hard work & effort plus it will stay as a negative event in so many eyes, don’t let that happen, imagine where progress would be if everyone who failed just quit, think about a pediatrician who is trying to save a little child’s life to quit because he failed, I hope you understand what I am driving at & will reconsider your decision! Now let’s get on with the solution; here’s the snow event in Sarasota which is scheduled for December 18-20 here’s the link; http://www.snowfestsarasota.com/Pages/default.aspx why don’t you go check it out, talk to people out there, get inspiration to come up with new ideas, Oh Amber possibilities are endless, as you can see they made this a 3 day event which is how it should be done here as it should also be a citywide event not just at the park, let everybody get involved like for instance we have a beautiful museum why not have kids make ice sculptures, have a contest then winner or winners decided by the merchants; as for problems of parking why not have valet parking for small donation or once again I say this use the Jolley Trolley or even better yet offer carriage rides for small donation, let there be flat fee for entrance which the tickets can be sold through out the city by all the merchants before & during the event where each business can be given a donation jar & wrist bands this way you are giving each merchant a chance to showcase their business! I have done a lot of research & have many more ideas so please Amber feel free to send friend request or stop by my boutique anytime as I would be delighted to meet you in person!
    As for all those who are not being helpful please use logic and offer solutions instead of telling all to go away, kindness would definitely be so much better!

    • I would personally feel incredibly blessed if I were you to still have your child/ren here with you even if it is to cry to you about no snow. I don’t. She passed away on 11/27/15 fron Stage 4 High Risk Neuroblastoma after fighting for 5 of her 6 short years of life. I’m sure improvements could have been made but I would trade you places in a heartbeat. Hold your children tighter than ever this holiday and every day. I know the Lundgren family personally and I am sure they would say the same.
      Thank you for your support, even if it wasn’t the best day for you.

  2. We had an awesome time at snow fest! So proud of the lundgren family and all their volunteers for giving us the opportunity to come together as a community and try to make a difference in the fight against pediatric cancer.

  3. Given the good cause I only wish I had spent more money while I was there. I know a lot of effort, heart and soul went into it.

  4. This Snow Fest HAD TO BE a big success! I was sitting outside at Tapping the Vine with some friends late Sat. afternoon. And suddenly there were people, children families all around us – so many – in the street, on the sidewalks – everywhere. We finally found out they all came from the Snow Fest. Amazing! That had to be a good thing for Safety Harbor too. BTW: none of them looked or acted upset. It was a big happy crowd.

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