A promoter of the yearly island motorcycle rally is seeking to join the promoter of Mardi Gras and the city in a legal fight that could greatly alter downtown festivals and parades. And other festival organizers plan to do the same, attorneys say.

Keri Heath: 409-683-5241; or on Twitter @HeathKeri.


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(21) comments

mark jones

How is it okay to charge people who want to visit local businesses? If it's illegal to charge the public to go to the Strand, then stop charging. Having parades without Dean’s cover charge sounds like a solution. Dean’s Mardi Gras brings terrible crowds that citizens are sick and tired of. People are also sick of the biker event noise and horrible crowds. Easy solution. Just keep the parades. Biker event? Too big, too noisy. Get rid of it.

Joe Flores

Mardi Gras brings mostly good crowds and great for most downtown businesses and most island citizens are fine with it ! Downtown is questioning downtown biker rally and agree with you ... less promotion of it downtown ... most hotels are on the seawall ... have a good day !!

bryan manuele

what, sell less beer??

Joe Flores

So True ... that is what it is all about !!🤪

Kristen Stephens

So in order to keep Oktoberfest and Dickens, we must put up with loud motorcycles and the trashy crowd that Mardi Gras brings in? That’s silly. To keep parades, we need to put up with Yagas charging everybody? How much money do the organizers make on these two events? Mardi Gras on the strand is unsafe. The strand parades should be just like Seawall.

Joe Flores

Mardi Gras downtown is safe and good for most shops !!

Casey Alan

The best way to stop this problem is to make Alan Flores a partner and give him a percentage of the profits. That would put an end to all of this. If you take away these events even though I’m not fond of all of them there will be nothing to attract people to the island. We live in a tourist city which means we have to deal with tourist. And from time to time that would be inconveniences for all of us.

Joe Flores

Ha ha ... funny !!

Stephen Murphy

As the article states, the main point of the lawsuit questions whether or not the city has the legal authority to close off public streets and charge entry fees to access those public streets.

It is not about how much the promoters make, or how much it cost the city and taxpayers, or how much money businesses along and adjacent to The Strand make or lose, or how loud the motorcycles are, or how rowdy and terrible the crowds are or any number of other extraneous things these events cause.

If the court rules in favor of the city's right to do such things, are the plaintiff's pockets deep enough to take this through the court system all the way up to the Supreme Court of Texas and, if needed, into the federal court system?

Joe Flores

again so true ... all events are mostly great for downtown businesses ... except bike rally but good for city !

Casey Alan

The point I was trying to make is it’s all about the money. If Flores thought he was getting his fair share at the door he would not be complaining. And there are cities all over this country that block off streets to have events. And on a personal note I think motorcycle week and is the best.

Joe Flores

Agree .... just less emphasis on downtown...

CJ Kirwer

As a resident of the downtown entertainment district I support most events downtown and would embrace more provided they act with common decency and respect for residents and businesses. Most events are considerate of the locals inside the perimeter with the exception of the Outdoor music event that bills itself as "Mardi Gras".

There's a big difference between closing off streets to enhance the enjoyment and safety of event goers and closing off streets solely for the profit of the promoter.

“The city has legal rights to temporarily restrict access to streets for events,” Booth said.

So Mr. Booth, let me get this straight. You're perfectly okay with a private for profit promoter slapping a fence around your home and dictating what you can and can't do on your property? You're okay with someone putting a fence around your home and:

Subject you to a waiting line to access your home.

Subject you to metal detector wand searches.

Forbid you from bringing outside food or beverages to your home.

No stroller walks with your kid after dark

No pets.

No guests or relatives may visit you without paying the admission fee.

No bicycle.

Currently Mardi Gras downtown ain't Mardi Gras. It's a "pay to play" concert event with no concert venue under the guise of "Mardi Gras". If you want concerts rent a music hall. If you want Mardi Gras to ever be a success promote it for the pre-Lenten festival it is. Hint - google "Greatest Free Show on Earth"

Wayne D Holt

Very well put. Again, those who directly benefit financially from the festivals are ignoring the impact on people who live and have businessess in the affected area. Are downtown festivals appropriate? Of course, it has been used successfully for many events. But the idea that, because you are staging a festival you have to charge to get in, have to have ungodly amounts of noise and trash to put up with, have to turn a blind eye to law breakers and have to be resigned that because it benefts "the economy" it has to be accepted whole cloth, with no changes.

That is a ludicrous train of poor logic. If promoters really want to resolve this, it will require addressing these issues. They keep saying it's about festivals; it isn't. It's about how some festivals are allowed to run roughshod over local business interests and residents.

Dan Braverman

Also well said!

CJ Kirwer


Joe Flores

Agree Wayne ,,, especially bike rally which totally runs roughshod over residents and businesses for almost 1 1/2 weeks ... Dickens AND Mardi Gras are fine and nd especially Dickens which focuses more on what the Strand is ... an Historic shoppingg district not an historic beer joint or entertainment district which only applies when there is an event ... I live and have businesses on the Strand and agree with you that there is a lot of ignoring by promotors and the city !!!

Dan Braverman

Well said!

mark jones

Would there be any lawsuits if the city let Dean charge people to watch the Seawall parades? Absolutely they would. The city is at fault. Parades are fine without Dean or Flores. I don't see how anyone thinks it's legal for the city to dispense public funds to Dean.

Stuart Crouch

I'm not sure "bikers" are doing anything, as your headline seems to suggest. Mr. Dean, on the other hand, is acting in his own interest as the promoter of the Rally. Bikers, as a whole, are probably not directly involved in this argument. I wasn't aware that anyone charged the public to attend the Rally. Rather, that is Mardi Gras, no? If the Rally places 2,3,400,000 people at your doorstep and you cannot figure a way to sell them something, it may be time to examine your business acumen. The people are there and most of them DO have money to spend. The creative, responsive and accommodating entrepreneur ought to be able to capitalize on this opportunity, but I digress. Bikers (and non-bikers, alike) support the event, but it's the promoter that is joining in the fray.

Michelle Robach

I think festivals are good for Galveston’s economy but blocking off streets and then charging citizens to get on those streets is ridiculous! Why do shoppers or restaurant diners have to pay $22 each to eat or shop on the strand? Take the promoters parties somewhere else. If the party people want to pay to get into a party then so be it but not at the expense of shop owners, restaurant owners and residents who live in the area. It’s never been to stop the festivals it’s been about promoters closing public streets and then charging people to access those public streets.

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