In reading “Cancel festival and CASID” by the John Ippolito from Podewitz Liquor which appeared in the February 23rd edition of the Jersey Journal, a response is necessary to address this individual’s misleading comments regarding the Everything Jersey City Festival.
For the past three years, the Central Avenue S.I.D. has worked closely with neighboring civic and non-profit organizations, artists, crafters, corporate sponsors, government officials, and hundreds of local businesses to plan and implement one of the largest main street events in New Jersey. There are hundreds of photos available online (www.JCHeights.com) which document the unprecedented gathering of approximately 23,000 on Central Avenue Saturday May 22nd. The focus of the CASID program is to shine a positive light on Hudson County by promoting community pride and harmony while marketing the Avenue. The event even received statewide recognition this past year as New Jersey Monthly Magazine named it “One of fifteen Delightful Day Trips” in its May edition. In all, there were 187 vendors lined up in the middle of the street in which 70% of those participants had Jersey City/ Hudson County roots. Yes, the festival has drawn outside interest but as organizers, the CASID has limited those to festival novelties that members of our community were unable to provide such as Kettle Corn and fired Oreos to name a few.
It’s ironic that Mr. Ippolito has been in business for 30+ years and still can not find value in a large crowd literally inches from his doorstep. In his statement, he infers that the festival hurts merchants by insinuating that business is better with fewer visitors to the district. If he was dissatisfied with end of day sales perhaps he should reevaluate his strategy as the festival itself may have not been the problem but rather poor planning and execution. CASID makes every effort to prepare our business members five months prior to the event to avoid surprises. In the end, it is up to each and every merchant to make the most out of the one day event.
While he may not share the same enthusiasm for the festival as others do, we remind readers that his shortsighted opinion is not reflective of the majority on Central Avenue who are dedicated to serving and investing in our great City. As the official organization representing the businesses in the Jersey City Heights, the CASID is proud to organize, and honored to host, the Everything Jersey City Festival which showcases our resilient neighborhood and business community. Your business is appreciated and stay tuned as we begin to roll out this year’s exciting entertainment line-up in the weeks leading to Saturday May 21, 2011. In closing, please remember those shops that truly support your neighborhood.
President Michael Yun and the Board of Trustees