Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corporation officials have announced that at least seven Twilight Dance Series concerts will take place this summer thanks to funding contributions by the City Council, community and corporate sponsors.

The City Council voted March 23rd to increase funding for the annual summer concerts at the Santa Monica Pier by $50,000. The one-time funding, combined with nearly $48,000 raised by the community and corporate sponsors, will ensure that the popular series is preserved come July, pier officials said.

Pier officials announced last month that they were considering a reduced schedule or a lineup of more locally based performers after experiencing two years of severe sponsorship shortfalls.

“I’m gratified that the community and the council pulled together to support this great summer tradition,” said Kent Smith, chair of the Pier Restoration Corporation board.

“The pier has always said that the quality of the Twilight Dance Series is unparalleled, and this year the city, our corporate partners and individual concertgoers chose to back up that claim by reaching for their wallets. The fact that we’re seeing this kind of support in a difficult year means a lot.”

On March 24th the Pier Restoration Corporation Board of Directors voted to authorize Executive Director Ben Franz-Knight to produce a minimum of seven concerts and granted him the ability to approve additional concerts up to a maximum of ten based on additional funds raised.

The $50,000 authorized by the City Council will come from an increase in carousel ride fare at the pier that was approved by the council March 23rd. The carousel fare has been increased from $1 to $2 for persons over 14 years old, and was set at $1 for children aged three to 14. Children aged two and under will ride for free if accompanied by a ticketed adult.

City staff said the rate adjustment will align the ticket prices with other comparable carousels.

Information on the Twilight Dance Series, www.santamonicapier.org/.

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