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Changes for Party in the Park? 

The City of Rochester is shopping around for an outfit to produce and manage its Party in the Park summer concert series, even though the current contractor, The Springut Group, is "doing an excellent job," says city spokesperson Gary Walker.

The city wants to create more excitement around Party in the Park and to boost attendance, according to city paperwork.

"I think this is a good thing to see who else might be out there and what they might be offering," says City Council member Matt Haag. "We might find that the people who are currently doing it are the best, but I think it's always good to test that theory."

The 2012 attendance figure for Party in the Park, 36,438, was a bounce-back from a 40 percent drop in attendance from 2010 to 2011. Attendance in 2011 was 31,022.

Previously held in Manhattan Square Park, Party in the Park currently takes place in a parking lot on Exchange Boulevard. Attendees complain about the heat, the lack of shade, and just the overall setup.

Haag says he's heard the "party in the parking lot" complaints.

"On the flip side, I'm not so sure where else you might be able to put it," he says. "Perhaps when Manhattan Square Park is finished, is that a better location?"

The park is undergoing renovations.

Walker says the city hopes to have a plan this year to find and develop a permanent downtown festival site.

City officials should select an individual or group to produce and manage the series by November 8. A vote by City Council is scheduled for December 18.

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