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City announces RFP for Copley Square winter activities

June 20, 2019

Parks and Recreation

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Parks and Recreation

With an eye toward turning Copley Square into a four-season hub of family-friendly activity, the Boston Parks and Recreation Department has announced that a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Copley Square Winter Activation Project (CSWAP) is now available.  The deadline for submissions is July 26, 2019.

The CSWAP is envisioned as a free, family-friendly gathering place that will run from approximately November 22 through December 27, 2019.  The project will host individual vendors and interactive stations where visitors can purchase food and beverages, potentially play games, take memorable photos, and more.  The area will be anchored by the existing Christmas tree display and the large Menorah at the end of the square.

The Parks Department is seeking to hire an event management company that can coordinate and implement every aspect of the CSWAP, including selecting and contracting with vendors, providing the equipment and infrastructure necessary to support the use of Copley Square, and performing all aspects of activation operations, including set-up and take-down, maintenance, vendor relations, and reporting of activities and transactions.  The goal is to increase the visibility and atmosphere of Copley Square, as well as provide an additional amenity to locals and visitors during the winter holiday season.  

The City’s vision is for a high-quality activation project focusing on handcrafted items, art, unique gifts, interactive features/activities, food and beverage offerings, and other engaging elements.  The CSWAP has the potential to draw thousands of visitors to a variety of holiday activities with as many as 40 vendor booths for merchants to sell holiday gifts and snacks providing residents and visitors with the chance to shop for local and custom gift items leading into the holiday season.  Suggested features include a beer and wine garden, enclosed heated tents for food vendor booths, a photo tent with Santa Claus, ice or snow sculptures as a display or competition event, face painting, performers in winter costumes, a dedicated childcare area, and lights and sound.  

The RFP is open to any event management company that would like to respond, and the City encourages participation from small, local, minority-owned, women-owned, and veteran-owned businesses. To support equality of opportunity, respondents are also encouraged to solicit for the subcontracting of goods and services from certified businesses. The City’s directory of certified businesses is available online.

The RFP can be downloaded online, or picked up at the Parks Department at 1010 Massachusetts Avenue in Roxbury.  For more information, please contact Dorothy Baxter at 617-961-3075 or email dorothy.baxter@boston.gov.