The popular, annual cultural event was nixed earlier this year by the PB Special Events Committee.
The committee originally voted 5-2 to deny the event, which features a carnival-style parade with extravagant costumes and energetic music. The rationale behind denying the event was that it had outgrown its venue on the streets of Pacific Beach. Some committee members also expressed concern about loud noise and lack of accountability from the event’s sponsoring group, the Brazilian Institute For Arts and Culture (BIAC).
But the PB Special Events Committee did an about-face on the festival, re-hearing the matter on July 21, eventually voting 5-2 in favor of allowing it to go forward.
“Members heard the city's response to some of our concerns, saying we had not fully justified canceling Brazilian Day,” said committee member Eve Anderson, a longtime community planner.
But Anderson offered this caveat, “It will be up to the Brazilian Day folks to keep the sound down and control the crowds.”
Anderson said she and some others were taken back when “event promoters said they expected 30,000 people – and their website said 50,000 (60,000 in another paragraph) – red flags went up. We'd heard it was really crowded and parking was a problem, but no one contacted SDPD to complain. Without complaints, there was little we could do.”
Paulo Batuta Lima, CEO of Brazilian Day sponsor BIAC, said the special committee’s re-decision was the right one.
“We have documents that show that we addressed all their issues and pretty much fixed every one of them,” Lima said noting, “We had a partnership with PB Middle School to use their huge parking lot. The noise was also addressed, repositioning the speakers to muffle the sound, turning them to point down and toward the street.”
Lima noted his organization also did a survey which showed one-quarter of Brazilian Day’s attendees are PB residents.
“PB is our community,” Lima said. “We are home. That’s why it’s held in PB.”
Lima added local Brazilians are a part of the community and do business “in their stores all year long,” not just one day in September on Brazilian Day.
Noting some people wanted the sponsors of Brazilian Day to pay money for hosting the event, Lima noted Brazilian Day is run by a nonprofit group, does not serve alcohol, and is family friendly and free to attend.
Previously, residents near the event have complained there was no one available to contact to register concerns that could be addressed on event day.
The popular four-hour Sunday Brazilian festival features non-stop entertainment on two stages, including musical bands, dance ensembles, a food court, a vendor’s exhibition and a kids’ zone.
For more information, visit www.sandiego.org.