JLF Western N.C. Blog

Go. Stop. Go. Stop. Go. Stop.

Business owners from Main Street in the Town of Franklin wanted to hold festivals to draw more customers to their shops. Three of four StreetFest festivals, which were supported entirely by the private sector, went down without a hitch, and businesses were experiencing more transactions. When it came time for the fourth event, town officials had changes of heart.

The businesses at first secured permission from Town Planner Derek Roland, Town Manager Sam Greenwood, and the DOT to hang a banner advertising the festival; but for the fourth festival, Roland forbade the display, saying it was against the Streets and Sidewalk ordinance.

The businesses had set up tents for retail in parking spaces. The tents were approved by the police department, provided traffic cones and caution tape were applied. The merchants gladly complied, but when it was time for the fourth event, the police chief and a captain forbade the setup of the tents. They did not know which ordinance they were enforcing, but said they were following instructions from Greenwood.

Thirdly, the merchants requested that Main Street be closed on occasion for two- to three-minute Zumba dances. It worked just fine thrice, but the fourth time it would not be allowed, and nobody was sure why.

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