Officials confirm Hollister Independence Day Rally a go

After months of anxiety among officials and Hollister
Independence Rally organizers, canceling the 2004 event seems
unlikely as 37 outside police officers recently committed to the
security force.
After months of anxiety among officials and Hollister Independence Rally organizers, canceling the 2004 event seems unlikely as 37 outside police officers recently committed to the security force.

“There’s nothing I’m worried about at this point,” Mayor Tony Bruscia said Monday. “I’m looking forward to having a successful rally.”

Attitudes have shifted dramatically since mid-February. That’s when talk of ending the city-sanctioned event arose.

Many outside agencies at the time were reluctant to send cops. Most were concerned about the city’s unwillingness to take on workers’ compensation liability; others cited under-staffing and budget problems.

The state Department of Justice and the Watsonville Police Department, however, have committed officers in recent weeks – 25 from the DOJ and another 12 from Watsonville. Those forces will add to local officers from the Hollister Police Department, county Sheriff’s Department and the California Highway Patrol.

“It is now (happening) for sure,” said Councilman Robert Scattini, who has maintained a positive outlook throughout the process. “I think a lot of people put a lot of hard work into this.”

The Hollister Independence Rally Committee (HIRC) has turned its attention toward scurrying to finish plans for the July 2-4 event, Executive Director Bob Beals said.

Some vendors have expressed discontent about increased vendor fees, and a few have dropped out. But rally organizers are still hoping to attract 221 vendors, which would be up from about 140 the previous year.

“We’re about a month or so behind the curve,” Beals said.

He said the relationship between the rally committee and Hollister brass has been “a lot more optimistic.”

“I think we’re getting within a comfort zone,” he said.

Kollin Kosmicki can be reached at 637-5566, ext. 331 or at [email protected]

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