Should festivals stay downtown or move elsewhere?

(Posted Feb. 26, 2024)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Should the Strawberry Festival, Rhythm & Rib Fest, and Old Fashioned Christmas events continue to take place on the streets of downtown London or move to another location? City officials are seeking input from residents and downtown business owners.

These annual events require the city to close streets for one or more days, resulting in impacts on traffic around town, including on state routes, and accessibility to downtown businesses. Safety is another concern.

Mayor Patrick Closser said the city is looking at different options should a decision be made to hold these events elsewhere. He did not name specific sites.

To find out how residents feel about the subject, the city administration recently posted an event feedback survey on the city’s Facebook page (“City of London, Ohio – Government”).

The questions are as follows:
• Do you feel it would be beneficial to move the street closure events out of downtown?
• Rate your satisfaction with the Strawberry Festival, Rhythm & Rib Fest, and Old Fashioned Christmas.
• Share any problems you’ve encountered with the events.
• Share your favorite parts of the events.
• Rate how likely you are to attend the events if they are held downtown.
• Rate how likely you are to attend the events if they are not held downtown.
• Do you have any suggestions or comments in general about the events?

The city will collect completed surveys through March 4. They also will circulate a separate survey to downtown business owners. Residents and business owners also can send additional thoughts and opinions via email to admin@londonohio.gov. The data from both surveys will be compiled and shared at council’s regular March 7 meeting.

“We will do an open forum at the beginning of the council meeting, where we’ll share the data we’ve gathered and talk about different ideas. People can come and speak on the matter. Everyone who wants to speak will have a chance to,” Closser said.

The March 7 meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. in the public auditorium and theater at city hall, 20 S. Walnut St.

For more information about the road closure event surveys, call the city administration offices at (740) 852-3243.

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