City looks to build on success of Makers Market
The Modern Makers Market, the first large public event in Beacon in more than a year, went smoothly and could portend the return of a traditional Spirit of Beacon Day in late September.
The Beacon City Council enforced stronger restrictions than the state required for the event, including attendance limits of 500 people in each of two sessions per day and proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result within 72 hours. The market was held on May 22 and 23 at Seeger Riverfront Park.
Because of the pandemic shutdown, the Spirit of Beacon festival and parade on Main Street was reimagined last year as a drive-thru and virtual event.
Photos by Ross Corsair
Mark Price, the director of the Beacon Recreation Department, monitored the Makers Market and told the City Council at its meeting on Monday (May 24) that the regulations had been respected. About 300 people attended each session, City Administrator Chris White said, noting that state and federal guidelines are changing so quickly that the city’s restrictions were “out of alignment” by the time the event took place.
There are two additional ticketed events planned for Riverfront Park this year — the Hudson Valley Taco Fest on June 26 and the Hudson River Craft Beer Festival on Sept. 18 — along with events being organized by the Beacon Sloop Club, including the annual Great Newburgh to Beacon Hudson River Swim in July.
The Makers Market, which was organized by Hops on the Hudson, would like to return to Beacon. White proposed that the council consider permitting three ticketed events at Riverside Park each year — one in spring, summer and fall. He also suggested the city follow state pandemic guidelines without enforcing any of its own additional restrictions.
“Ten years ago, we just wanted to get people to come to Beacon,” noted Council Member George Mansfield. “Now they’re already coming to Beacon,” and the public events create an additional infusion of shoppers coming to Main Street, where retailers and restaurants have been battered by the shutdown.
The council is expected to meet next month with the organizers of Spirit of Beacon Day, which will pose a challenge as far as enforcing social distancing or other public health recommendations. Still, White said he’s hopeful that the parade will take place and that, 18 months after the shutdown began, it could be a “back-to-normal” celebration.
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