To the editor:
Re: Fusion Festival Makes Use of Downtown’s Park Space, Aug. 11 Capital News.
I wanted to mention how disappointed I was as a downtown merchant to learn that Mardi Gras was cancelled in order to make room for the Fusion Festival.
I understand that a ‘record’ number of folks turned out to enjoy the park space. Unfortunately, the park space doesn’t need customers to pay its rent.
Bernard merchants were invited to join in the Fusion Festival, at a small cost. However, there is a larger cost that is not taken into consideration—staffing.
At Mardi Gras, I didn’t need extra staff and payment options were easy to fulfill—customers could step into the store. No need to rent an extra payment terminal, or pay two to three extra staff.
The Fusion Festival robbed Bernard Avenue merchants of being the hub and excitement of having our doors open and having pedestrians walk through our stores, especially the summer season before Bernard Avenue construction could very well find most of us in dire straights, struggling to survive.
What a pity the city considered the action in the park more important than encouraging the action on Bernard.