Magnolia Park Night Out has reached the end of an era. The event, supported and sponsored by the Magnolia Park Merchants Association has officially shut down as of its last event on May 27, 2022. The association voted unanimously at their June 1st board meeting to finally let go of the event due to a lack of participation and funding.
The event began over 12 years ago when stores, Mindfulnest and Encore Nouveau, started a ladies night with discounts, music and a food truck or two. As more neighboring stores joined in, they coined the event Ladies Night Out. In 2014, the event became official with the launch of the Magnolia Park Merchants Association, who worked to brand the event, include more stores, and work with the city for an event permit and food trucking parking signs.
The event was eventually changed to Ladies and Gents Night Out and then finally to Magnolia Park Night Out (MPNO) to be more inclusive of the guests attending the event. Happening every last Friday from 6-9pm, six blocks of Magnolia Blvd would be lined with up to 35 food trucks. Over 45 stores would stay open to participate, bringing in live music, vendors, and other entertainment like balloon twisters, face painting, book signings, caricature artists, and more.
The food trucks that come to the event pay to participate which has sustained the event’s recurring costs for event permits, insurance and police patrol. The City of Burbank also supplied help with funding the trash clean up required for the event. During the pandemic, the event was shut down for 16 months and re-launched again in July of 2021. Unfortunately, the event didn’t make it back to its full potential quick enough, and saw a decline in the number of participating food trucks and stores.
About half the number of food trucks have been signing up for the last 9 MPNO events, and the association has learned that many of the regular trucks that attended have either gone out of business during the pandemic or are booking larger catering jobs in replace of events. The City of Burbank also pulled back funding for trash clean up which incurred an additional $1200 in monthly costs for the association.
During a recent study done by the Magnolia Park Merchants Association, only 35% of the stores in the event area stay open for MPNO, and even fewer actively participate. The lack of funding and dwindling store participation ultimately led to the decision to shut down the beloved Burbank event. In a message to the businesses from Magnolia Park Merchants Association President, Kathy Ross, she wrote, “While we love the event, and we know some of the stores and many members of the community do too, the increasing costs and lack of income made continuing this event financially unfeasible. We know the loss of MPNO will sadden many businesses and community members, but MPMA could not afford to continue losing money each month.”
Even though the association is letting go of Magnolia Park Night Out, it vows to continue Holiday in the Park for this year as well as following years. While the association’s Board of Directors is deeply saddened for the loss of this iconic event, they are hopeful the stores and community that value MPNO will find a way to bring it back life they did before there was an association.
Since food trucks are allowed to park on Burbank streets with the appropriate permits and following the appropriate parking signage, it is possible that the event can go back to its grass roots beginning when the stores and food trucks worked together to bring the community out on Friday nights. “We hope that the stores that wish to still participate will invite food trucks and will stay open later for the community,” added Ross.
For any questions or concerns regarding the closing of MPNO you can email the association at firstname.lastname@example.org.