Summer Pop Up Park canceled
NEW CANAAN — The Pop Up Park, a familiar sight in downtown New Canaan for the past five years, will not return this summer.
The Police Commission unanimously voted to withdraw the Pop Up Park Committee’s application for road closures, citing its lack of sponsorship and insurance for the event.
Park committee member Barbara Wilson confirmed the park would not take place this year. This comes after the Board of Selectmen approved on July 10 a special permit for the event, with new restrictions including a shortened timeframe and reserving the right to revoke the permit if things “got out of hand.”
“It’s come up that it’s ultimately the Chamber of Commerce and the merchants who have the final say, and that leaves (the sponsors) in a legal bind if anything does happen (to the Pop Up Park),” Wilson said.
The Police Commission had asked for four things in order to approve the event’s application: proof of insurance, a sponsor, town approvals and coordination with town departments.
Though an undisclosed sponsor had come to the Pop Up Park Committee’s aid and provided insurance, the conditions set by the board of selectmen dissuaded the sponsor from continuing the relationship with the committee.
“All of our sponsors have withdrawn as the conditions are not in their best interest,” Wilson said at Police Commission meeting Wednesday evening. “As a result, the insurance has been withdrawn.”
In an email Thursday, New Canaan Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tucker Murphy lamented the rescinded application.
“The process was a long one. I’m sure there will be folks who are disappointed and ones that are relieved,” Murphy said. “At this point, all we can do is try and learn from it and investigate how we can make something like this work for all.”
The Pop Up Park Committee, however, is already looking toward next year.
“The Pop Up Park Committee will be working toward refreshing the committee and is looking for more members to join us to star plans for the 2019 season. If you want to join, please contact either Barbara Wilson or Jeff Holland,” a news release from Wilson said.