Thursday, November 14, 2013

Easton to Review Policies for Large Public Events, Mayor Says

By Christina Georgiou

An estimated 17,000 people attended Bacon Fest II in Easton last Saturday.
A crowd of nearly 17,000 descended on the City of Easton for Bacon Fest II last weekend, and while the crowds that and other annual city festivals are drawing are a mark of success, more formal policies need to be considered to ensure public safety and that city services can continue to operate smoothly during large events, Mayor Sal Panto said Wednesday.

To that effect, he plans on meeting with the organizers of a number of the city's most popular events, including Heritage Day and the Easton Garlic Fest to discuss their needs and gather input before possible future policies are put in place.

"We're going to come up with a policy for special events," Panto said.

Some things that might be considered for the future include:

  • a possible ban on closing Larry Holmes Drive while Centre Square is also closed to motor vehicles, to make sure traffic flows more smoothly through the city during festivals
  • prohibiting the pitching of vendor tents in the Centre Square roadway area due to emergency response concerns
  • ways to eliminate access to city shops being blocked by temporary vendors and festival activities

As the number and scope of special events in the city has grown, some may go by the wayside, Panto said.

"We might look at some of the smaller events and eliminate them, like we've eliminated Community Spirit Day this year," he suggested.

Others might be moved from Centre Square to the riverfront and take place in Scott and/or Riverside parks, he added.

But most events probably won't be relocated and the city will just work to make things run more smoothly when crowds attend them.

"The traditional big meeting space in the city is Centre Square," he said.

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