The Persian New Year Festival, which has been held at Lake Balboa for over a decade, has attracted around 12,000 people during recent years and is set to take place again this year on March 31.
At its meeting on Wednesday at the Encino Community Center Auditorium on 4935 Balboa Avenue, the Encino Neighborhood Council is scheduled to consider moving the festival to nearby Woodley Park "due to the impact of the Festival on other stakeholder families who may want to use the park that day, and Woodley Park would be a more appropriate venue for an event of that size," according to council's agenda.
In our coverage of the festival in 2011, this very issue was debated by Patch readers, with many voicing support or opposition to the festival being held at Lake Balboa.
The following comments [sic] were among those posted to the story:
"I walk every morning at Balboa Park with a group of people. Every year this festival shuts all of us out for the weekend and leaves an icredible mess the following Monday." - Annonomous
"I was born and raised in Iran. I am also the Representative At-Large at Encino Neighborhood Council. I personally disagreed with this event because as many of you said, this event restricts and limits the access of public to the whole park. As a Persian, I do not appreciate the admission fees either." - Kathy Patterson
"If this were any other holiday, or a more "acceptable" christian holiday, Anonymous likely wouldn't have made any comment regarding it's validity or the use of the park at all. It's sad that other religions/cultures/people are still not as accepted as they should be. It's what our country was based on. Get used to it." - socruls15
"This festival is no different than a party on New Years Eve, July 4th, cinco de mayo, etc. It was a special event for Iranian people and they have every right to enjoy their day. If you have a problem with it, there are a dozen other parks in the Valley that you can walk for that one day a year." - Beverly Gould
Check the attached PDF for a full rundown of the Encino Neighborhood Council's agenda.