While the Riverside Chamber of Commerce is on board with the annual Independence Day parade heading down East Burlington Street, it’s not so hot on continuing to host the Riverside Arts Fair.
For the past two years, the fair has brought hundreds of visitors to downtown Riverside. But it has also shut down the street, making it hard for people to access the area in the evenings. It also hasn’t had the desired effect on bringing more business while the fair is open, said Chamber President David Moravecek.
“Lots of vendors came up, but it was so crowded and the way the tents were set up, you can’t see the businesses,” Moravecek said.
As a result, this year’s Arts Fair, scheduled for May 22 and 23, will be shifted to East Quincy Street, south of the railroad tracks, according to Village Manager Peter Scalera. Vendors will set up their tents on the street from Riverside Road to the area around Higgins Glass.
Satellite parking areas can be provided on Burlington Street to drive fair-goers to the central business district, Moravecek said.
“The chamber expressed concerns that the art fair was disruptive to businesses and thought they were not benefiting from it due to the set-up,” Scalera said. “The last thing we want to do is have an event that doesn’t benefit the downtown.”
Scalera said that the move also made since Quincy Street, which is home to Higgins Glass and the Riverside Arts Center, is the village’s unofficial arts district.
“We’ll see whether moving it can increase foot traffic in the downtown as well as bring the art fair to the other part of the business district,” Scalera said.