Corning City Council approves Gaffer District’s plan to close Market Street for Re-Discover Corning event

Corning

CORNING, N.Y. (WETM) – The Corning City Council has approved a plan to temporarily close Market Street from July 1-6 for the Re-Discover Corning event, according to Gaffer District Executive Director Coleen Fabrizi.

The authorized plan would close Market Street from Wall Street to Chestnut Street, as well as Pine Street starting from Market to Burmese Lane. It also allows vending within 120 feet of Centerway Square and open alcoholic beverage containers between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m.

Gaffer District announces “Rediscover Corning” event, proposes pedestrian Market Street usage

The Gaffer District does not plan to propose any other closures of Market Street for pedestrian purposes this summer.

Local business owners react to Gaffer District’s “Rediscover Corning” proposal

During the summer of 2020 Market Street was closed to pedestrians for several months to allow for outdoor dining and vending during the pandemic. Several local shop owners were opposed to closing market street sighting the need for curbside pickup and foot traffic.

Vinne Azzarelli, Owners of Volo bar, has been vocal about his strong support to close the street again. He even created a petition that generated over 2,000 signatures in favor of closing the street. He is disappointed to hear about the “Rediscovering Event.”

“As a business owner and resident, I am kind of disappointed and deeply saddened, to be honest with you. The disconcert our leaders have from what our community wants and needs,” Azzarelli said.

Ben Borkowski, Owners of Marich Music, which is also on Market Street a few doors down from Volo. Borkowski was not a fan of the street being closed last year. He said that because of the lack of street parking, he lost business. But, despite how it affects his shop, he also wants to support the local restaurants.

“Although I am relieved that the street isn’t going to be closed for weeks on end, and 24/7, all summer,” Borkowski said. “I am a little disappointed that there wasn’t maybe a little bit more compromise that was still beneficial.”

“This summer is not last summer,” said Rick Maxa, board president. “We are no longer under a lockdown and more and more restrictions are being lifted. Therefore, our board no longer saw the need for a longer-term limit of vehicles on the street and we had to consider the interests of all of our more than 240 businesses. However, we do want to have a community celebration to observe the light at the end of a very long pandemic tunnel.”

Maxa said the Gaffer District hopes locals and visitors will take advantage of the long holiday weekend to visit, shop and eat downtown.

The Gaffer District is rebranding, and they want your help

Maxa cited research which factored into the decision that showed the 4th of July weekend as the busiest summer visitor weekend for the city. It also promises this year to be a nationwide turning point in the COVID battle.

Executive Director Coleen Fabrizi added, “Corning’s Gaffer District is very excited to be producing the ‘Rediscover Corning’ event for the 4th of July weekend. This is in addition to the plans we already have for GlassFest Fusion May 24-30, which will kick off the Summer in Downtown series, including Farmers Market, Storytime, picnics in the park, pop-up entertainment and a variety of cross-promotions with participating retail, restaurants and personal care providers in our downtown. Our businesses are ready to welcome consumers to enjoy our downtown whether they are shopping, dining, exploring or just making a great memory as they stroll along our beautiful streetscapes.”

To find out more about all events in downtown Corning, visit gafferdistrict.com.

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