A car show, a corn hole tournament, kids games and a bicycle show, live music—they’re all part of a family fun day planned downtown by the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce Aug. 21.
After a Chamber member complained about a lack of weekend entertainment in the community, a committee was formed to consider possible activities. The August car show is the first in what could become a series of monthly events.
Gaylord Hill of the Adrian Street Cruisers was invited to the Chamber’s July 9 meeting to discuss his group’s presence at the Morenci event. The Cruisers charge $300 to set up the show. The profits from their shows help pay fuel bills for elderly people in need of financial assistance.
The Cruisers provide a DJ and sponsor a 50/50 drawing and a hula hoop contest. The Chamber can organize other activities, such as a corn hole tournament, motorcycle show and pedal tractor contest.
In other Chamber business, vice president Jennifer Blaker noted that a wireless microphone was donated by Nicole DiCenso and a tripod was created and donated by Roth Fabricating to support the Chamber’s sound system.
The group discussed discount shopping cards that would be sold as a fund raiser. Chamber members would be able to buy space on the card.
DOWNTOWN—Five Chamber representatives attended the July 12 city council meeting to seek permission to schedule the car show event downtown from noon to 8 p.m.
Jennifer Blaker said that Mill Street could be used for the event, but the Chamber’s first choice was Main Street by blocking traffic from the stoplight to west Mill Street.
City supervisor Barney Vanderpool expressed concern about redirecting truck traffic through side streets. Police chief Larry Weeks shared that concern, not only for semis but also for large agricultural equipment.
It could be particularly challenging if the tomato harvest has begun north of town, he said.
The streets are in better shape now than when Parker Chemical was open, Chamber member Kent Deatrick said, and “hundreds of trucks a day” drove down the side streets.
“If we block Main, we’ll need to get proper signage,” Vanderpool said. “It’s not a simple matter of putting up barricades.”
“I don’t have the staff, unless somebody wants to pay for it, to put someone down there to manage that traffic,” Chief Weeks said.
Somebody would have to come in to erect and remove barricades, he said, noting that it would probably be the responsibility of the city workers.
“It’s only a few hours on a Saturday once in the month of August,” said Chamber member Trulla McClain.
“I’m supportive of what you’re doing,” Chief Weeks said, “but like in a parade, I call all my staff in and it costs a lot of money to do that. I’m sure no one wants to do that here so it’s a little different scenario.”
“Because we all have volunteered our time to put something into this community, what if we ask for some volunteers from the city workers and the police department. We’re volunteering; we’re not getting paid,” McClain said. “Is that a possibility?”
“You can always ask them,” Chief Weeks said.
Council members voted unanimously to approve the request to close a block of Main Street.
If a stage were to be erected just west of the stoplight, two entrances to Morenci Deli would be blocked, Chief Weeks said.
“Has anyone contacted the Deli?” he asked.
A member of the Chamber’s entertainment committee said that contact was not yet made. An audience member suggested blocking the street west of their drive.