2018-10-11 / Opinion

Onward and Upward

To the Editor:

This past weekend, the third annual Broadway Street Fair was a resounding success.

Perhaps 15,000 Newporters and visitors thronged the recently widened sidewalks and temporarily closed streets to revel in a perfect autumn day, listen to musical performances, shop and enjoy food from street vendors and restaurants alike. NTW Publisher Lynne Tungett, the Broadway Merchants Association and scores of volunteers deserve tremendous credit for conceiving this event and helping guide and grow it through its infancy.

As the event has increased in size and complexity, its management has required professional assistance and this has come in the form of the very capable Jennifer Sunderland. Fifteen thousand people create an enormous amount of debris, and Clean Ocean Access did outstanding work in managing the trash and recycling stations.

A small army of volunteers mobilized to help get vendors located and set up to help keep the event running smoothly all day and then clean up at the close of the day.

Many of the activities returned the spaces to former uses: Washington

Square was once again a common for communal activity, the Colony House was again a backdrop for community gathering, and Broadway was alive with retail trade. This type of event shows that Newport is succeeding in its program to make the city an exciting destination to visit and a great place to live, utilizing its historic character as backdrop. It was also a chance for public/private partnership, with the city, police department and private organizers all working in a well-coordinated way. However, these types of events don’t run on their own.

I urge the new Broadway Merchants Association to take up the baton and run the fair in the future as they are the main beneficiaries of this event. It is wonderful to see the Broadway area blossoming and becoming the sort of destination location where businesses can thrive and people can live, work and play.

But everyone in Newport benefits also, so consider reaching out and asking the fair committee how you can help or volunteer next year.

Let’s see it go onward and upward in future years.

Ross Cann

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