East Penn Press

Friday, January 24, 2020

EMMAUS BOROUGH COUNCIL

Thursday, July 18, 2019 by TARA CARMAN Special to The Press in Local News

Upcoming Emmaus events approved with conditions

Emmaus Borough Council conditionally approved three different events to take place in the fall at the July 15 meeting.

Funk Brewing Company will hold its Funktoberfest Aug. 30 and 31. Funk will be open for regular business hours Aug. 30 and will also host a food truck. Aug. 31 is the day of the actual festival, which will run noon to 11 p.m. and consist of music, a tent, two food trucks, face painting for kids and more to come. Keith Plunkett, marketing director for Funk, said they “want to make it more than just a beer event since we have a ton of families that come to the brewery as well.”

Plunkett’s initial proposal was to close down a portion of Sixth Street, between Bank and Railroad streets, 9 a.m. to 12 a.m. which would give time for setup and tear down. He said if council didn’t agree to the street closing, he would continue to use the Funk lot and the storage unit lot next to Funk for the festival, just on a smaller scale. “We always make it work,” he said.

Council’s biggest concern was they were hearing about the event six weeks before the date and there are a number of issues that come with closing down a section of Sixth Street. None of the emergency department chiefs or public works director had even been presented the idea yet to start to form a plan for road closings, detours and police presence at the event.

Borough Manager Shane Pepe said he also anticipates more than the estimated 200 people max at a given time and was concerned with keeping all festival goers corralled into one area. Pepe said by using snow fencing, they would be able to keep everyone contained to one area and keep them safer. Plunkett noted this would also help them to better identify people and hand out wristbands.

In addition to the possibility of using Emmaus Fire Co. #1 for parking, Plunkett noted for the Lehigh Valley Brewers Guild Beer Fest last October, he estimated roughly 50 percent of festival goers used Uber. He anticipates the same thing happening for Funktoberfest.

Council voted 5-2 in favor of holding the event with the closed off portion of Sixth Street, contingent upon the following: getting approval from all emergency department chiefs, the public works director, insurance and talking to Emmaus Fire Co. #1 in regard to using their parking lot for parking. Councilwoman Shana Baumgartner and Councilman John Hart voted against the event being held with the street closing.

Councilman Hart said he supported the event, just not the closing down of the street.

If Funk cannot get the approval from all required departments, they will just hold the event in the Funk parking lot and adjacent storage unit lot.

The Cobra’s Credo — Inaugural Awareness Ride/Vendor Fair will be held Oct. 5 at Emmaus Community Park. The event will honor the late Julian Familia, who died in October 2018. Jennifer Derr, who is running the event, hopes for it to be a yearly occurrence, with the proceeds this year going to Familia’s children.

The ride, consisting of motorcycles and other vehicles, will start in the morning at the Emmaus Fire Department and end at the community park where there will be live music at the Arts Pavilion as well as an estimated 40 to 50 vendors. Derr said as of now they have 25 vendors confirmed. They are also hoping to have food trucks.

Derr said if they get 50 vendors, she is estimating attendance to be between 200 to 300 people. Pepe said people show up to these types of events just based on the vendors they know. He said they had a funeral home host an event at the park once with an estimated 200 people to attend when in reality 2,000 people showed up, which caused chaos for the borough as they were scrambling for help. “What I’m trying to prevent is a nightmare for us,” Pepe said. Derr said she will work on getting fire police involved as well as a large number of volunteers.

Council voted 7-0 in favor of holding the event, contingent upon insurance and approval from the public works director.

St. Ann School will hold its 70th Anniversary Run/Walk event to kickoff the calendar school year. The race will start at the school’s location on Sixth Street and make its way toward Minor Street and the trail system and then double back to end at the school. Race Director Bill Durso said they will have 30 to 40 volunteers in safety vests helping with traffic and are estimating around 150 to 250 runners. Pepe made note that if the number of runners were to rise to 300, then there would be discussions of closing off Minor Street, but they do not anticipate that to be the case.

This event will be one of several held throughout the school year to celebrate the school’s 70th year anniversary. Council approved the event 7-0 conditional upon insurance being provided.