Pop Up Park

Recent Articles

Future of ‘Pop Up Park’ Uncertain After Some Merchants Voice Concerns

After a handful of merchants voiced concerns about how the Pop Up Park at South Avenue and Elm Street affects traffic and business, members of the municipal body that oversees street closures in New Canaan said Wednesday night that they’ll take the feedback into consideration in deciding on the future of the downtown amenity. No immediate decision is needed regarding the Pop Up Park, which saw part of the South Avenue’s first block cordoned off as a pedestrian-only space—with tables, chairs, WiFi, planters, grass, fountain and events—from the July 15 Sidewalk Sale to Labor Day. However, approval from the Police Commission is needed each “offseason” to get the volunteer-run Pop Up Park in place. Launched five years ago, the town had approved an all-summer run in 2015, but the Pop Up Park didn’t run at all that year after some merchants raised concerns. During the commission’s regular meeting Wednesday, some of those who long have said the park creates problems that hurt the downtown and its businesses reiterated their concerns. Continue Reading →

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Letter: Disappointed That ‘No Commerce’ Rule at Pop Up Park Will Affect ‘Young Entrepreneur Fair’

To whom it may concern,

I am very disappointed to hear that the Young Entrepreneur Fair is being changed on Sunday to reflect “no commerce.”

My children have been so excited for this opportunity, working endless hours all year, to develop and create beautiful products. They worked together to pool their savings, and purchase supplies for running this business. They created matching t-shirts to wear, business cards, created beautiful displays for which to highlight their products, and shopping bags for their customers. What a disappointment to have to tell them that they will no longer make that money back, nor make any profit for which they were donating to St. Jude’s. Continue Reading →

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Officials Wary of Proposal for Nonprofit, Community Organizations To Use ‘Pop Up Park’ for Sales

Town officials on Tuesday night voiced objections to a proposal that nonprofit and community organizations be allowed to sell fundraiser tickets or items such as Girl Scout cookies in the Pop Up Park downtown, saying the popular pedestrian area should remain entirely solicitation-free. When the cordoned-off park launched five years ago, New Canaan’s traffic authority specified that nothing be sold there “mostly because we did not want to have in any way reactions by the merchants that the Pop Up Park would compete with them,” according to Police Commission member Sperry DeCew. “I am not particularly happy about this [idea],” DeCew said at the group’s regular meeting, held at the New Canaan Police Department. “I do not particularly want people in there being solicited by anybody to do anything—Lobsterfest or Girl Scout cookies. I think it’s inappropriate and there should be no solicitation whatsoever.”

DeCew and fellow Commissioner Paul Foley—together with Chairman Stuart Sawabini, who participated in the meeting on speakerphone—referred to a draft set of “sales guidelines” from the volunteer committee that organizes the Pop Up Park. Continue Reading →

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‘Pop Up Park’ Organizers Eye Extended Summer Season Downtown

The organizers of New Canaan’s ‘Pop Up Park’ downtown will seek permission to run it continuously from July 16 to Sept. 4. If approved by the Police Commission, the dates—from just after the Sidewalk Sale through Labor Day—would expand by several weeks the longest continuous run for the Pop Up Park, which was in place for three straight weeks last August. Tucker Murphy, an advisor to the Pop Up Park Steering Committee from the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce, said many visitors were disappointed last year when the park—located on South Avenue between Morse Court and Elm Street—was disassembled before what turned out to be a beautiful Labor Day weekend. The committee is “trying to build upon last year while still recognizing that some of the merchants and some people have concerns about traffic flow,” Murphy said. Continue Reading →

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Everyone Happy To See Pop Up Park’s Return

The opening of the Pop Up Park at South and Elm last Friday went smoothly. “Everybody seems happy to have it back,” Jeff Holland, a member of the Pop Up Park committee, said.  “We are seeing people that we haven’t seen since the last time we set up.”

The temporary park displayed a mixture of New Canaanites relaxing, talking, and eating under the shade of the new park umbrellas and children participating in the olympic-themed events hosted by the YMCA. Thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation, the Pop Up Park committee was able to add pots full of radiant flower blossoms as well as more tables with varying heights. Tucker Murphy, a founding member of the Pop Up Park volunteer committee, said that the park “is supposed to be flexible. Continue Reading →

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