Concert Vendors Not A Threat To Businesses On Main Street In Buzzards Bay, Chamber Spokesman Says

One of the sponsors of last summer’s Concerts in the Park—which was not allowed to set up shop on site—will be allowed to sell during this year’s series of concerts.

Cape Cod Canal Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Marie J. Oliva went before the Bourne Board of Selectmen on June 3 and requested permission for the Mermaid Bus to sell during this summer’s concerts. The Mermaid Bus sells gift items from the Company Store in Wareham.

Selectman Donald J. Pickard recalled that last year some local business owners complained to the board about being in competition with out-of-town businesses that set up shop during the concerts.

Ms. Oliva assured the selectmen that the concert vendors are not in competition with local businesses. She noted that many of the Main Street shops are closed by the time people arrive for the concerts.

“We believe in working with the businesses on Main Street,” she said.

The Cape Cod Canal Chamber of Commerce has been offering the Concerts in the Park series for the past 25 years. The concerts, held every Thursday during July and August from 6:30 to 8:30 PM, are free to the public, but the total cost to the chamber of commerce is $10,000. The money pays for the bands that perform, as well as advertising and marketing, Ms. Oliva told the board.

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To raise the necessary funds, the chamber solicits vendors for the event. She explained that the chamber brings in vendors from all over, including Sandwich and Wareham, because some of the concertgoers come from those towns.

Some vendors pay a fee just to be on site, while others pay a higher sponsorship fee, Ms. Oliva said. She said that the Mermaid Bus was not allowed to sell last year, despite having paid the higher cost to be an event sponsor.

“When you have to raise $10,000, that’s a hard thing to do in this economy. That’s why we want to make sure it’s OK,” she said.

Selectman Donald E. (Jerry) Ellis said the object of the Chamber of Commerce is to promote business, and given that most of the local stores would be closed, he supported Ms. Oliva’s request.

The rest of the board agreed with Mr. Ellis and approved Ms. Oliva’s request unanimously.

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