WESTFIELD, NJ — Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Gene Jannotti spoke during the town council's conference session Tuesday to announce planned changes to Westfield’s Festifall Street fair.
“We are always willing to make changes that we think will satisfy the public and increase the street fair in its entirety,” he said.
The proposed changes include moving the popular Kid-Zone into the north side parking lot at the Westfield train station.
“That will free up a lot of the street space that’s being used by vendors,” said Jannotti.
Jannoti also announced that a section of Prospect Street from North Avenue to East Broad Street will now be called “Artists’ Alley.” According to Janotti, the chamber of commerce is going to make “an all-out concerted effort” to get artists, both locally and from around the state, to participate in the event, which includes offering discounted space rentals for artists.
The Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce is also requesting a change for the seasonal farmers market that runs every Saturday from June through October. The proposed change would move the market from the south side of the Westfield train station to the north side parking lot of the station.
“We are isolated on the south side,” Janotti said.
He explained that moving the market to the north side of the parking lot would enable better foot traffic and encourage more interaction between the farmers market and the downtown shops.
“I hope that people will leave the farmers market and go into downtown and spend their time and money in downtown,” he said.
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, a representative from the Friends of Westfield Memorial Library, a volunteer group that supports the public library in Westfield, discussed plans to install four to five “Little Libraries” in local parks in town. The libraries would be managed by the Friends of Memorial Library and stocked with books that are left over from their annual library book sale.
The town council also listened to a proposal from Ken Anderson, owner of Union Ice Arena, for a temporary ice rink to be constructed in the area of the basketball courts at Gumbert Park. Anderson showed a rendering of the temporary structure and explained that the facility would be in use from November to February to accommodate the growing demands of ice sports and activities in the area.
“We just can’t handle it all at one ice rink,” Anderson said.
The facility would provide additional ice for youth hockey programs, adult leagues, public session and special events.
And finally, the Westfield Green Team, a group of volunteer Westfield residents and government liaisons, announced plans for the Westfield Earth Day Celebration 2018. The event will be held on April 22 (rain date April 29) from noon to 3 p.m. on the north side of the Westfield train station. Activities will include sapling giveaways, kids activities, recycling information and more.
Nancy Griffiths, a member of the green team, also announced an upcoming panel on New Jersey’s transition to 100 percent renewable energy. The panel will be held at the Westfield High School on April 19 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.