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Downtown Live in Hagerstown lives to see another year

Council votes 3-2 to approve Oct. 25 event

Council votes 3-2 to approve Oct. 25 event

July 30, 2008|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN - Downtown Live will go on as planned despite the opposition of two Hagerstown city councilwomen.

The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday voted 3-2 to give promoter Mike Deming permission to hold Downtown Live - an outdoor music festival that features live bands - on Oct. 25 in the area that encompasses Public Square. The council also agreed to let Deming serve alcohol in open containers during the event.

Councilwoman Penny M. Nigh said she voted against the proposal because Deming took several months to reimburse the city for municipal services that he needed to hold Downtown Live over the past two years.

"This is a for-profit event," Nigh said. "I don't see why he doesn't have to pay up front."

Councilwoman Alesia Parson-McBean said she voted against the event because Deming failed to seriously consider the council's advice to hold Downtown Live in the Central Lot. In the past, some members of the council asked Deming to stage the event in the Central Lot - the same area where the Western Maryland Blues Fest is held - to prevent blocking off the square to traffic.

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Earlier this month, Deming told the council that he didn't have enough time to plan for the event in the Central Lot before the October showtime.

In addition, Parson-McBean said she supported live music events, but Downtown Live hasn't drawn enough people in the past to justify blocking off the square and the first block of South Potomac Street.

After Nigh suggested that Deming pay for municipal services in advance, Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II questioned whether she might have something against Deming.

Deming could not be reached for comment late Tuesday evening.

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