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Event Success Stories - City of Doral

City of Doral had a lot more challenges to get through the pandemic than most of the state of Florida. Miami was hit pretty hard with COVID cases, and it was a bit slower to open up. When the shutdown occurred, it was right before their Annual Big Egg Extravaganza. They immediately switched it to an online egg design contest to share on their social media. People were very creative. They as a staff were able to deliver the goodie bags to the winners’ doors.

They never stopped events. They just reinvented them. They created a virtual film festival, where it was a 3-day concerts with singers around the world through live streaming and their channel 77 local TV station for the city. They also replayed it on their social media. They also created Storytime with Santa, which made it in the homes of each Doral resident. Drive in Movies came in the parks, where they were able to create seven in total, as people checked in through the windows of their cars. They did many other exciting events such as Camping Under the Stars, Miami City Orchestra, and Tree Lighting Ceremony.

They did follow DeSantis’s ordinances on events to have live events a bit faster than city ordinances. Once they were allowed to have events, they did not have enough capacity for any of the events they had as people had been so bored at home. Most of their events they learned needed to have a fee associated to it, so people had a buy in to come if they got a ticket. Even if it was $5 people would come if they had to pay something instead of not showing.

They created a dual photography exhibit that was redesigned because of COVID. It took place in City Hall before. They purchased outdoor art walls and sandbags to keep it in place. They had dry erase boards outside for people to write answers to questions. It gave the community a sense of being a part of the exhibit. It let their voice be heard during a time where we could feel very alone. They took a thematic approach for this event of Doral Strong. It brought the community together, it showed thankfulness for first responders, and after having this event like this they will continue to keep it outdoors.

What they are looking forward to now is filling up their position that is posted, having more events with the community, and less hybrid events. Ashley Barcena, Recreation Marketing & Sponsorship Coordinator for the City of Doral, said, "We know the skies the limit as the community is wanting to get out and enjoy events. People are grateful and also want to give something back to their families. The community as a whole want to interact together." She also said, “A positive thing they took away from the pandemic is it made them step away from their comfort zones with the recreation department. Each year we know our events and we have been comfortable. We have not been pushed to rethink. We need to take notice on what is working and what is not and make things better each time we do an event,” said Ashley.

Some of the departing words that Diana Maldonado said were, “Not to stick to what we always have done. We need to remember to get the most bang for our buck and listen to the community. We will continue to reevaluate our events now and not be stuck in the same problems. Once the parks open again, we will need to reevaluate them to see how we can move these areas forward.”

Featured in this interview:

City of Doral

8401 NW 53rd Terrace
Doral, FL 33166

Phone: (305) 593-6725

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