My husband and I were somewhat disappointed in the 12th Street Festival on Sunday. A number of people we spoke to at the event, older people and young families, expressed similar opinions to our own and therefore, I would offer a few suggestions for future similar events. I realize not all will share these views; however, they are representative of a reasonable cross section of age groups in attendance.
Having the booths closer together would take up fewer blocks and create a more intimate atmosphere and would save a long climb uphill for older folks and little ones. In addition, the huge gaps between many booths gave the event an overall haphazard appearance.
Try for a wider variety of quality crafters and vendors (psst - Tupperware is passÃ©).
Have more activities for children, (such as puppets, music, face painting, arts) in one safe, supervised area. (I was told this was once done successfully on the empty credit union parking lot.)
The few such activities there were on Sunday were smack in the middle of other things that crowded them out.
Please, please, please: Tone down the volume of the bands so they don't drown out every other sound within a block. We have the technology to make this possible, and any band that cannot play at less than gazillion decibels does not belong at such a gathering.
It's not meant to be a rave party, and the majority of people there were not teens. There were two bands that my husband and I would have loved to hear, but we were driven away by the ear-splitting volume as soon as they started to play.
Lastly, as a resident and taxpayer, I find it inappropriate for the White Rock Hell's Angels to be involved in a family-friendly New Westminster neighbourhood street festival. The toy run and other PR gambits notwithstanding, the Hell's Angels are not just a group of ordinary people who simply like to ride motorcycles. They are associated with criminal activities such as drug-running and prostitution among others things.
To have them at such an event is an insult not only to the city's residents, but also to our local police force, whose booth was stationed two blocks down the street and who do have a valuable place in the community.
I appreciate the work the organizers, vendors and musicians put into the event, and they all deserve thanks for their efforts. I hope these comments are received in the spirit in which they are intended, as constructive suggestions to make future similar events more enjoyable for all.
Mickey Bickerstaff, New Westminster