City uses Billy Crystal donation to buy bandwagon

Officials say actor wanted funds to support arts and culture


The City Council passed a resolution at its Feb. 18 meeting to purchase a new bandwagon for the city, using a portion of the funds that actor and comedian Billy Crystal and his wife, Janice, donated to the city last year.

The bandwagon is a vehicle that is used, many times as a stage, at city events and concerts. At the meeting, City Manager Jack Schnirman said that the city is “long overdue” for a new bandwagon. The vehicle will cost the city $137,176, the lesser of two bids received on the item, according to the resolution.

Last June, Crystal, a Long Beach native, donated $1 million to the city’s Relief Fund, which helps finance Sandy recovery projects. He raised $888,000 at a celebrity fundraiser, and he and his wife added $112,000 of their own money to round the donation out to an even $1 million.

“They wanted to promote arts and cultural events in the city,” Schnirman said of using the money to pay for the bandwagon. “And this is a very important way to do so.”

The city will keep its old bandwagon, however, which Schnirman said would allow the city to use the vehicle at more than one event at the same time, especially during the busy summer season.