County asks public to weigh in on Mass Gathering Application at Oct. 2 meeting

PRESIDIO COUNTY — The county is inviting the public to voice their concerns regarding the Mass Gathering Permit and Outdoor Music Festival Permit application processes during a commissioners court meeting October 2 at 6pm in the Marfa ISD Cafeteria.

County Judge Cinderela Guevara said she is inviting citizens to bring their concerns in written or typed form, which, once submitted, will be sorted by topic and handed over to the three officials who will evaluate future applications.

The county began discussions to implement a Mass Gathering Permit procedure after Austin-based event producers C3 Presents began exploring the possibility of hosting a 6,000+ attendee festival in unincorporated Presidio County, north of Marfa. Soon after, the county realized a second permit for Outdoor Music Festivals also applied to C3’s proposed event. The county is now planning to designate application processes for both of the two permits, according to the Texas Health and Safety Code’s requirements.

The Texas Mass Gatherings Act falls under that code and requires event producers to apply for a permit from the county when a planned event takes place outside of city limits, expects more than 2,500 attendees, and lasts longer than five hours.

County Health Authority Dr. John Paul Schwartz, County Fire Marshal Gary Mitchke and County Sheriff Danny Dominguez will be tasked with reviewing future applications and evaluating risks and mitigation plans before giving their official recommendations about the permit to Judge Guevara. The judge will hold a public hearing and then approve or deny the permit.

The Wednesday night meeting will be held in the Marfa ISD Cafeteria because the Judge’s office has limited seating, and the county courthouse’s courtroom has been troublesome in previous meetings because of its poor acoustics.

Judge Guevara previously stated she hopes to hear public input on October 2 and then have commissioners vote on the contents of the two permit applications at the subsequent commissioners court meeting on October 9.