Attention Hessler Nation,
As we begin our preparations for the 2017 Hessler Street Fair, we want to talk to you about a situation we have been having with the fair and our plans to deal with it. As we all know, parking has long been an issue in University Circle, not only for our event, but for every event in the area. For us, the issue has reached critical mass. We need to reserve about 150 parking spaces every year for the use of the residents of the street, for our vendors and for the musicians. As the number of available parking spaces in the area continues to shrink, the problem has become more acute. Last year, we actually had to consider cancelling the fair due to the lack of parking. The problem is especially bad in those years when the fair coincides with graduation ceremonies at Case Western Reserve University, which is the case most years. Additionally, a large surface lot which we have depended upon for many years is being converted into a retail development, making the situation even more problematic.
As a result, it is our thinking that the best way to keep the fair viable is to change the dates of the fair from the weekend before Memorial Day weekend to the weekend after Memorial Day. For 2017, that means that the fair will NOT be held on May 20 and 21, but on June 3 and 4. This will help us get the parking that we need, and will also give us a better chance for warmer weather. We realize that this means a break from tradition, and we do not take that lightly. We have long been proud of the fact that we have become the unofficial kickoff to the summer festival season and we hate to surrender that, but we feel that if we are continue on toward the 50th anniversary of the first fair, which will be in 2019, this is a change we need to make.
Please feel free to respond to this announcement and tell us what you think. We value your opinion and want to get as much feedback as possible. Thank you for your years of support for and participation in the fair.
The Hessler Street Fair Committee