Future venue for Caffeine and Carburetors draws concerns
NEW CANAAN — Caffeine & Carburetors is on for its downtown showing this Sunday, but the Parks and Recreation Commission is more worried about when the event takes place in Waveny Park next year.
The cars and coffee event, which draws some 3,000 people to town, was slated to take place at Waveny Park on Oct. 21, but a “scheduling snafu” led to the event’s change of venue to downtown.
Commission Chairwoman Sally Campbell, however, is already looking to 2019, when Doug Zumbach, owner of a coffee shop bearing his name and planner of the car event, will have to apply for permission to showcase the event again.
“The biggest issue is that we asked you to abide by things last time,” Campbell told Zumbach at a meeting on Tuesday. “We wanted to separate the visitor parking from the exhibition, and some people didn’t have placards. There were people walking on the street, and that was kind of an unsafe condition in the park.”
Zumbach went to the meeting with Deputy Chief of Operations John DiFederico, a member of the New Canaan Police Department.
“We’ve worked very closely (with Coffee and Carburetors) for the past five years and, from my perspective, they’re one of the most organized,” DiFederico said. “There are no issues from the police and safety perspective either here in Waveny or downtown, though downtown is a much-bigger task for us.”
At the last Coffee and Carburetors event on June 17, there were 723 registered cars, 23 more than the Parks and Recreation Committee had allowed, another grievance the body had with the event.
“People should not be walking on the roads, but the way the cars were parked forced people to walk on them,” Commissioner Francesca Segalas said, citing safety concerns.
Zumbach argued the event brings recognition to the town and that he was open to finding ways to enforce the rules the commission had made.
“This is an example of what this event can do for the town,” Zumbach said.
After a back-and-forth with Zumbach, Campbell suggested she, along with other commissioners, would meet with Zumbach to discuss further details regarding the planning of the car show — a meeting, she said, she would notify people about.
“It has to do with adhering to certain requests we have made and safety,” Campbell said.