Hagerstown puts off decision about street festival

May 09, 2007|by DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN - The Hagerstown City Council postponed giving a local developer its blessing to expand an October street festival downtown until more information is gathered concerning hindrances that the event might create for emergency vehicles.

Mike Deming of The Demcore Companies asked the council at its Tuesday work session for consideration to allow open containers of alcohol on some city streets during Downtown Live, an October street party that was ushered in last year.

In addition, Deming requested that the festival's borders be expanded to Public Square to accommodate more people.

Deming proposed holding the event from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Oct. 20.

"Last year, there wasn't enough room," he said.

Deming said he was willing to pay the costs associated with city services and would sign an application to carry the necessary insurance requirements.

Councilwoman Penny M. Nigh said she was concerned that blocking off some of the downtown, particularly Public Square, would obstruct fire and police vehicles from responding to calls.


Her statement was echoed by Councilwoman Alesia Parson-McBean, who also said that 12 hours is too long to hold a party downtown.

Although Fire Chief Gary Hawbaker told the council that closing the streets could cause potential problems for safety vehicles, Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said that streets have been blocked off before to hold parties downtown.

"This is doable," he said.

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