‘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.

‘We are trying to capitalize on a time of summer when things typically are quieter in town and our mission and goal is to bring people into town and have them stay and enjoy restaurants longer and shop our stores,” she said.

The committee’s members include Chairman Martin Skrelunas, Barbara Wilson, Betsy Wilson, Jeff Holland, Keith Simpson and Arnold Karp, Murphy said.

Members of the Police Commission will hear the committee’s request during their regular meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

This summer, the Pop Up Park will feature artificial turf donated by an area company, Murphy said, and popular events such as the Food Revolution and Flower Market will return.

The decision to re-boot the Pop Up Park last year followed a summer in 2015 that saw it put off after a group of merchants expressed concerns about its effects on traffic, parking, business and aesthetics. Those concerns have been addressed and merchants have been invited to help organize the Pop Up Park, committee members have said.

5 thoughts on “‘Pop Up Park’ Organizers Eye Extended Summer Season Downtown

  1. In my view, the so-called pop-up park creates traffic flow problems and we lose a number of parking spaces where we need them – at South & Elm. Moreover, what is the point? Does it really help any merchants – who? The pop-up park appears to just takes business away from the restaurants on Elm Street, most of which already have on-street or other outdoor dining. Does the CofC really know what it is doing with this or they just continuing with it because it was their concept and they want to look like they are doing something?

  2. The pop up is to chillax and enjoy New Canaan during. You don’t have to dominireeing hectic parking spot seeking resident, or a nickel and diming merchant, or an employee of the store with a parking issues – -you can just have a decent moment of reflection of how awesome our town is, just enjoy down town for no other reason than to socialize and be content that it is summer, and we’re all in a good place. I have no doubt that outsiders are terribly envious of our communities ability to just relax, have a pop-up chill place in the middle of our town, and able to give up a couple parking spots for the betterment of everyone’s soulfulness that’s not only measured in parking conveniences and profit margins… Think Europe, Cape Cod, Nantucket vibe! It’s all good.

  3. After an impossible day yesterday, cooped up at home with the whole family, I was thrilled to catch up on the New Canaanite. I found the two best pieces of news one could hope for after experiencing cabin fever; the return of the Pop up Park and the continuing improvements and hours at the Pool! I absolutely love shopping downtown during the summer when I can chill out in the PUP and meet up with friends. I feel like I’m on vacation when I come into town! And wow! the pool just gets better and better every year! News moments like this reinforce that we chose to live in such an ideal place.

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