Wednesday, July 24th, 2013
By William Kincaid
Third annual Taste of Celina called a success
Complaints lodged about some people drinking in street
  CELINA - The third annual Taste of Celina held downtown on July 12 was a resounding success and many vendors shut down early because they ran out of items, according to Celina Mayor Jeff Hazel.
Several restaurant and businesses participated in the evening block party extravaganza organized by the Celina Merchants Association, where food samples and wine and beer tastings were offered to the public.
But there were complaints.
At the regular city council meeting Monday night, councilman June Scott said someone was disgruntled about people drinking on the street.
"Some people had some issues with that," Scott said.
"We're going to address the group next year," safety service director Tom Hitchcock said. "We need to make a few tweaks."
"We need to deal with the downtown merchants," Hazel said.
Hazel didn't specifically say where the outside drinking on the street occurred but pointed out that restaurants were packed inside and outside.
"People were taking the plastic cups, from what we understand, and were just walking out," Hazel said.
"And please don't misunderstand what I'm trying to say," Scott said. "I think it was a great event. It's just one of those kind of things that just happened."
"We had several complaints," Hitchcock said. "During the event it was hard to enforce that at that time. We decided to hold off and deal with it (later)."
The event originated as a celebration of the reopening of Main Street after two years of reconstruction work, but has continued due to its popularity.
In other discussion, Hazel said the recently formed all-ages kickball league held this month was a success, with more than 200 people participating. The final games will be played at the parks on Thursday night.
"That's been just a great event for people - well attended, people really enjoyed it," Hazel said. "It's something unique, something different."
Night swims at Bryson Pool also have been held this summer.
Hazel praised the efforts of recreational director Jeff Fortkamp and said the city is trying to appeal to as many as possible to utilize the city parks.
The city's recently purchased concession trailer has been utilized at various events, according to Hazel.
Instead of building new concession buildings to replace the dilapidated one razed at Eastview Park last year, city officials purchased a portable stand to serve multiple locations.
Hazel said the concession stand was purchased from an individual in Cridersville for $10,000, an amount which council members recently appropriated from the engineering payroll account to the parks capital fund. A new stand with similar amenities would cost more than $30,000, he said.
About $11,000 in concessions have been sold so far at the pool, Hazel pointed out.
"We're making some really good positive things happen for the city and for residents," he said.
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