Legionnaires said most of the street fair revenue comes from amusement rides.
By NANCY TULLIS
VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU
EAST PALESTINE -- City residents and others interested in the future location of the annual street fair may want to attend an upcoming committee meeting.
Councilman Jeff Rowland, chairman of council's street committee, said the committee welcomes input from the public at 7 p.m. July 22 at city hall. He said the committee will discuss the pros and cons of moving the street fair. Some residents who want the fair to be moved back to Market Street, the city's main street through the downtown business district; and Legionnaires -- who want the fair to remain on Rebecca and Walnut streets; voiced their opinions at Monday's council meeting.
Residents Carolyn Wilson and Shirley Glavan presented council a petition signed by 600 people to return the fair Market Street.
American Legion Post 31 sponsors the annual event, which until five years ago was set up on Market Street.
Wilson said since the fair was moved, the large rides are level with the second- and third-story windows of her home.
She said she knows some former residents who once made the annual street fair a homecoming event have not returned since it was moved to side streets.
Reason for move
Legionnaires at Monday's meeting said they moved the fair off Market Street because of street construction projects. They feared the festival revenue would decline with the move, but it has increased each year, they said.
The Legionnaires donated about $8,000 from the fair to charity in 2000. This year's donation to charity was $10,000, they said.
The Legionnaires said their main concern is to operate the street fair to raise the most amount of money for the community.
Most of the proceeds come from amusement rides, and when the fair is on Market Street the rides are limited, they said.
Using the Legion parking lot and side streets, they can have about 16 rides, compared to about six when the fair is on Market Street, they said. The larger rides need a 60- to 80-foot radius, which won't fit on Market Street, they said.
Legionnaires said when they asked about returning the fair to Market Street after the street construction was completed, city officials said they would have to keep one lane of Market Street open to traffic for security and liability reasons.
Wilson noted the Legionnaires said when they decided to keep the fair on the side streets, they paid to have poles moved and new electric boxes -- and they do not want to pay again.
She had an estimate of about $3,000 to relocate the poles and boxes, and said she and Glavan would spearhead a fund-raising effort to pay for the move.