Officials Approve Road Closure Downtown for ‘Fall Into New Canaan’ in September


Town officials voted this month to allow a prominent nonprofit organization to repeat a successful charity event downtown in September.

The Young Women League of New Canaan’s “Fall Into New Canaan” will be held on Sept. 8 in the area occupied in past summers by the Pop Up Park, following the Police Commission’s 3-0 vote approving a street closure for part of that Saturday.

During its inaugural event last year, Fall Into New Canaan saw 50 stores participate by donating 10 to 15 percent of profits for the day to a chosen beneficiary organization (Meals-On-Wheels), according to Marley Thackray, president of the Young Women’s League.

“We had a wonderful day in town,” she told members of the Commission at their regular meeting, held July 18 at the New Canaan Police Department.

“This year will be a similar New Canaan charity that our charity search committee will vet over the summer. Over the course of that day, we had little events in the Pop Up Park for families—all free, we didn’t sell anything. Crafts, storytelling. We had a scavenger hunt in stores and we raised about $12,000.”

The New Canaan Chamber of Commerce co-sponsored Fall Into New Canaan last year.

Joining Thackray in requesting the road closure, Chamber Executive Director Tucker Murphy, noted that the substantial funds raised pointed to significant sales activity for local merchants. 

The $12,000 figure “means that a minimum of $120,000 was spent that day in town,” Murphy said. 

Commission Chairman Sperry DeCew and members Paul Foley and Jim McLaughlin voted in favor of the road closure. The Police Commission is New Canaan’s local traffic authority.

DeCew asked whether furniture would go up for the September event and Murphy said no, there could be tables for crafts and a small area for mini-golf for kids, but no scattered tables and chairs with umbrellas. Fall Into New Canaan ties into other YWL- and Chamber-organized events downtown such as the Scarecrow Decorating Contest, Murphy said. (Though town nixed the Pop Up Park this summer as a weeks-long fixture, it will materialize for specific one-off events as it did for the Sidewalk Sales.) 

Foley asked whether a rain date was needed (no) and whether Fall Into New Canaan’s organizers had insurance for the event (yes).

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