Two weeks ago in a phone conversation with a board member of the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce, I was told how the May Chamber Street Fair was going to be cancelled by The City of Long Beach. This person told me why the city came to this decision. It was all confirmed to me yesterday in a phone conversation I had with a High-Ranking City Official, who went into more detail:
- Complaints from local businesses. This echoes something which was mentioned all over the social networks, but yesterday the city confirmed it. Various local businesses felt these Chamber of Commerce street fairs in their current form did more harm than good, as many of these out of town vendors sold competing products.
- Types of vendors. The city wants these fairs to be more about Long Beach with vendors of higher quality with more local art and crafts. This city official specifically mentioned a ‘vape vendor’ as something they weren’t so happy with. As an idea of what they have in mind, the City of Long Beach will be hosting Arts on the Boardwalk, which will take place June 4-5th.( I’ll post the flyer on that once I get it.)
- Garbage. Last year the Chamber fairs were littered with garbage, including overflowing garbage cans that were adjacent to the fair itself. Popular Facebook group Project 11561 brought this issue up, as it was the same opinion shared by many people. Residents and the City alike were very upset by the way the garbage was being handled. In a conversation I had with one resident this morning over a cup of coffee at Gentle Brew, he said how he was kicking garbage as he tried to walk through the Chamber Fair last year.
So the May Chamber Street Fair is cancelled, the other Chamber fairs are up in the air, pending various changes the city is anticipating. We still have the The Long Beach Historical Society Annual Arts & Crafts Shows, Arts On the Boardwalk, plus the weekly Arts in the Plaza, which kicks off at the end of the month. Lots of great stuff happening in Long Beach this season. Stay tuned!