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2012-08-25 at 17:01

Chugging along

By Jamie Smith,
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It all started in a parking lot.

Around a half-dozen businesses in Westfort were talking about how to stimulate business in their neighbourhood. So they took their stock into a parking lot on Frederica Street, slashed the prices and watched the people pour in.

“It was quite well received,” Westfort Village BIA’s Jack Morro said. “People travelling up and down the street stopped and they decided to step right in and see what we had.”

Now 30 years later, the sale has spilled onto the street, taking over several blocks of Westfort’s main drag and is the neighbourhood’s biggest celebration of the year.

“And then we had a little bit of a happening. It was a little sparse at first but you know we felt it had some merit. Every since then we’ve been keeping it rolling and making it grow,” Morro said.

Morro, who also owns JB Evans, said it’s all about having a good crew of people working hard to make the street fair happen. But none of the local merchants ever get to enjoy the fair. They’re so busy organizing the party and then minding their shops, Morro said they rarely get to take it all in. Still, that’s a good problem to have.

“Where else can a little business like ours get thousands of people in front of our doors in a given hour?” he said. “(The street fair) is a great meeting place. It’s good promotion for the area.”

The weather also helps. On Saturday it was 29 C and sunny in Westfort. In fact, in all 30 years the street fair has been held, it’s only rained twice Morro said knocking on wood. 

As for the future of the street fair, Morro said the BIA is looking to get an event planner to take a bit of the pressure off of business owners.

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