Before giving their official blessing, the St. Clair Board of Aldermen requested more information be made available about the annual Main Street Festival, especially concerning the dance scheduled to conclude the day’s activities.
St. Clair Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Angela Crawford made the request for the board that it approve the festival can take place on Sept. 22 along South Main Street between East Springfield Road and Kitchell Avenue. The hours would be from 2 to 11 p.m. if a street dance was approved as part of the day’s activities or from 2 to 9 p.m. if it wasn’t.
“I am under the impression that everything will be the same as last year,” Crawford said to the board during its most recent meeting. “We’re asking that Main Street be closed at noon, the event be from 2 to 11 p.m. and that the street is cleared by midnight.”
The festival is organized by the Chamber’s Merchants Committee.
In years past, South Main has been closed north of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad tracks for the duration of the event, but the area south of the tracks has opened to traffic later in the day as the youth area shuts down. Crawford said she believes that’s the plan for this year, too.
Most of the discussion, however, centered on the dance and what kind of music would be played.
Mayor Ron Blum asked Police Chief Bill Hammack his thoughts on the matter.
“Last year, there were no problems with the dance, but it catered to younger folks,” he said. “It depends on what kind of music will be playing.”
Crawford said the Merchants Committee wants to have live music and has sampled a local band that will provide a variety of selections and styles.
“Unless I know what kind of band, I really can’t comment,” Hammack said. “Two years ago (when there was a live band), we had several fights and we arrested some people. Last year, we just had a sound system. It drew a younger crowd and there was less drinking.”
Beer and margarita gardens again are included in this year’s festival plans.
Mayor Ron Blum said he has attended the festival in past years and has enjoyed it.
“The event has gone well when I’ve been there,” he said. “I think it’s a good community event.”
Hammack agreed, except for the problems two years ago during the street dance when live music was provided.
“So, what’s the board’s pleasure?” Blum asked.
“My only concern is staying open another two hours and not knowing who is going to be there,” Ward 1 Alderman Zach Fuchs said.
The board decided to delay making a decision until more information could be obtained. The matter is on the board’s agenda for this coming Monday, May 21.
The aldermen did approve giving the Chamber’s Beautification Committee $900 out of the city’s park department tree fund to use for maintenance of the planting areas at Interstate 44 exits 239 and 240 within the city limits.
The Chamber sent the city the $900 proposal from Preferred Cut LLC in St. Clair to provide grass cutting on each side of the landscaped areas next to the I-44 on and off ramps at the two exits in April, July and September.
“This would keep those areas trimmed every month during the summer,” Childers said, adding that the Missouri Department of Transportation provides the same service in May, June and August targeting the time before holidays.
When asked, the city administrator said using tree fund money to pay for the service “is not inconsistent with the intent of the fund.”
Blum said he believed using the money in this way is a good idea.
“These are entrances into our community,” he said. “I would like for them to be maintained and to look nice.”
Preferred Cut already cut the grass in the area in April.