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Festival or Not to Festival?


Festival It’s Festival time in Downtown Warren once again!

Like the Ohio State “flower” that “pop” up every Summer along Ohio roadways, the orange barrels, the same argument always seems to “pop” up in Downtown Warren when the African-American Festival and Italian Festival time rolls around; Do Downtown Businesses benefit or suffer during these events?

Many of the Businesses along the “Square” seem to disapprove of these events and in many ways feel that it’s unwanted competition, or a major inconvenience, which loses them “money”.

The Festivals, as well as other major events around the “Square”, are known well in advance so it does not come as a complete surprise to the Downtown Merchants.

As a Businessman, I would relish having my Business on the “Square” during these events and be able to use them as a tool for “Marketing and Promoting”. Yes I understand that I may lose money during these “Festivals” but I might gain more in the long run from the FREE exposure.

Festivals, along with other events, automatically give those Businesses along the Square, or even Downtown in general, a free chance to be a part of the festivities and without the fees and licenses needed by the many vendors that are attracted to these sort of celebrations. All it takes is some creativity and marketing plus the Festival Committees opening their “arms” to include the Downtown Merchants.

This is one of those issues that the City Administration should show leadership and join the two philosophies, Festivals and Business, and thereby enhancing the overall Warren experience. The”Cities” attitude that Businesses need to “suck it up” and “take one for the team” is callous and disheartening.

Compromise is not a dirty word and I’m sure with a little effort, everyone can/could make these major showcases of Downtown a great experience for those who have an invested interest with a Business, for those who attend, participate and promote the Festivals.

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