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Monday, September 20, 2010

2nd Annual Hispanic Fiesta draws bigger crowds

My guess was Saturday night's crowd was between 1,200 - 1,500.
Plainfield businessman Edison Garcia's second annual Latino Fiesta celebrating Central American independece drew bigger crowds than last year to an event with an improved layout.

Held for the second year in Lot 8 between the Green Brook and the stores facing Front Street, a 'midway' was better defined as the principal thoroughfare, leading attendees from the ample parking spaces across Watchung Avenue near the Supremo supermarket to the Fiesta's main focus, the bandstand set against the Somerset Street entrance to the lot.

The vendors were busy both Saturday and Sunday with both food and tchtochkes being sold briskly
(I even spotted a child's soccer outfit with an AIG logo of all things!). In Saturday's heat, the man making cones of shaved ice with flavored syrups was mobbed.

Maker of shaved ice treats was mobbed.
Saturday evening was when the crowd was at its largest, I'm guessing 1,200 - 1,500. The area near the bandstand was so crowded you couldn't even get close and the midway was full of folks eating, chatting and strolling (strollers galore!).

Some improvements to the layout were obvious and benefitted the overall flow: an entryway at Somerset Street was added (last year it was barricaded, though often breached) and the kids' moonbounce was moved next to the beer tent (perfectly logical, if you think about it).

Even pooches needed to take a break.
I found it interesting that the Police Division's mobile command unit was on hand Saturday afternoon, but was not to be seen in the evening or on Sunday. On Saturday, I spotted only a single cop patrolling and on Sunday evening just two.

The only thing that might be improved is to find some way to highlight the animal ride and petting zoo. The vendor has staked out the only grassy spot in the whole lot, which is nice for the kids and the animals, but leaves him off the beaten path -- and I am sure impacts his receipts. Hopefully, he will fare better next year.

And then there's the matter of the portajohns. There were only two, the lines were long and they were filthy. The city's Health Officer may want to look into how the sanitation issue can be better managed in what looks to become a regular, and very popular event.

Mountains of corn were consumed.

    -- Dan Damon [follow]

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    Anonymous said...

    Why werent they required to pay for police or security? People were throwing garbage all over downtown and getting sick on the public sidewalks. Since when were people allowed to drink beer on the downtown streets of Plainfield? Where were the police? Not every one stayed in the party area, so who paid to clean up the mess, and who is going to finish cleaning up the messs???

    Anonymous said...

    Thank you anon. You are correct. The organizers should have to get permits and ample security and sanitation resources need to be applied. Diversity is great but you still need to clean up after yourself!