Pop Up Park

Recent Articles

‘Pop Up Park’ Nixed for 2018; Volunteers Cite Selectmen Conditions as Unworkable

Noting that the Pop Up Park’s volunteer organizers had failed to obtain insurance, a sponsor or Special Events permit to operate the makeshift gathering space downtown—conditions laid out last month—members of the Police Commission on Wednesday night withdrew their approval of a necessary street closure for the park. Though the Board of Selectmen this month granted conditional approval for a three-week run, those who operate it came to find that the sponsors they found were “not excited about the new conditions” attached to it, according to Barbara Wilson, a member of the volunteer Pop Up Park committee. “All of our sponsors have withdrawn because they did not feel the items that we had to address and accept were in their best interests,” Wilson told members of the Police Commission at their regular meeting. “So we don’t have any sponsors. Additionally, the sponsor we had that was going to pay for insurance has withdrawn after talking with legal counsel. Continue Reading →

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Selectmen Approve Pop Up Park for Abbreviated Summer Run

Saying the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce’s support is a key condition, the Board of Selectmen on Tuesday approved an abbreviated summer season for the Pop Up Park at South and Elm. Originally scheduled for a July 21 to Sept. 3 run, the makeshift park will operate Aug. 3 to 23 following a 3-0 vote by First Selectman Kevin Moynihan and Selectmen Kit Devereaux and Nick Williams to issue a Special Events permit. “I am skeptical,” Moynihan said, noting that in the past the Chamber appeared to drive the event with the assistance of a small volunteer committee, not vice versa. 

Moynihan also noted that the New Canaan’s local traffic authority, the Police Commission, must circle back to the Pop Up Park’s volunteers to give final approval for a road closure. Continue Reading →

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Selectmen Move Toward Nixing Planned Summer Season of ‘Pop Up Park’

Officials on Tuesday urged the Pop Up Park’s organizers to realign with the local organization that’s supported the downtown gathering space in past summers—a relationship that appears to have broken down over moving a kiosk three feet. Ostensibly the municipal body that would grant a Special Events Permit for the Pop Up Park, the Board of Selectmen stopped short of saying it would definitely nix it. Yet First Selectman Kevin Moynihan and Selectmen Kit Devereaux and Nick Williams each signaled that the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce’s involvement—which the organization itself has essentially ruled out for a proposed July 21 to Sept. 3 season—was a make-or-break consideration. “Given where we are, I don’t think there is any way we are going to proceed with the Pop Up Park on the terms that we’d had last year,” Moynihan said during a special meeting of the board, held at Town Hall. Continue Reading →

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Merchants at Odds Over Now-Uncertain Pop Up Park

The recent news that the Chamber of Commerce is no longer sponsoring the Pop Up Park has left its future uncertain. While volunteer organizers are scrambling to obtain permits, insurance and town approval, a 2015 debate of how the park affects local business has been reignited. We spoke to several businesses in the area to hear their thoughts. Helen Richards of Odesmith & Richards Boutique on South Avenue describes the park as a “pleasant idea” but in the “completely wrong place.” Her concerns revolve around how the park affects nearby businesses, saying “it blocks traffic and impedes commerce where it is.”

She referred to a letter written by area merchants a few years ago. “The merchants have been complaining about it for a long time,” she said. Continue Reading →

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‘Pop Up Park’ Under Threat As Organizers Scramble for Insurance, Town Approval

The Police Commission voted unanimously Wednesday night to require the organizers of the Pup Up Park to return next month with proof of insurance and coordination with the town in order to retain a planned six-week road closure needed to operate the makeshift gathering space. In the past, officials noted during the Commission’s regular meeting, the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce had provided insurance and also coordinated with the town, though a separate, small group of volunteers oversaw the actual day-to-day operation of the summer park at South and Elm. Yet “the sponsoring organization obviously has withdrawn from the entire concept,” Commission Chairman Sperry DeCew said at the group’s regular meeting, held at the New Canaan Police Department. “So at this point, we have a group of five well-meaning citizens who want to have a Pop Up Park, but at this point there is no appointed liaison to the town of New Canaan. So far as we know, there is no approval by the town of New Canaan on the special permit level, and there is certainly no insurance. Continue Reading →

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