Georgetown chamber’s St. Pat’s event proceeding with new sponsors

By Glenn Rolfe
Posted 2/14/24

The Greater Georgetown Chamber of Commerce is pressing on with plans for a second annual St. Patrick’s Day Block Party, without the town as a sponsorship partner.

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Georgetown chamber’s St. Pat’s event proceeding with new sponsors


GEORGETOWN — The Greater Georgetown Chamber of Commerce is pressing on with plans for a second annual St. Patrick’s Day Block Party, without the town as a sponsorship partner.

At Monday’s Town Council meeting, chamber president Linda Price withdrew the agency’s request for $4,500 from the town for the March 16 event at Revelation Craft Brewing Co. on South Bedford Street. The move ended Georgetown’s 50/50 fiscal collaboration for the party.

“Although the chamber would still like the town to be a sponsor, the board has made the decision to withdraw the sponsorship request from the town. The chamber will continue to move forward to hold this community, family-friendly event. We’re going to move forward with the event no matter what,” said Ms. Price. “Part of the reason (for) withdrawing the request is that we don’t want to get into the politics of things.”

On Tuesday, Ms. Price confirmed that the void is being filled by the Preston Automotive Group and Shore Auto Sales, who have pledged to split the $4,500.

“They are doing this on behalf of the town,” said Ms. Price. “I’m very happy. It was a tough nut for us to have to raise that other $4,500.”

The monetary request — the same amount granted by officials to stage last year’s event in a courthouse parking lot — was tabled by council last month amid concerns about the amount and about the location being at a business that serves alcohol.

“The only problem I think we had, Linda, is, when you are at a beer joint, a brewpub, they are not only doing beer. They are doing wine, … doing some spirits, also,” said Mayor Bill West. “And you want to make it a family event, with kids and all, and you’ve got all this going on, and you got town money coming into that. It looks bad in the public’s eye.

“I think we’re setting a bad precedent for doing that. I appreciate the work you do for the chamber. I appreciate the chamber tremendously. But I don’t think it should be the town getting involved in this.”

In reply, Ms. Price said, “Revelation is a business in town. Why are we not supporting a business in town? That is what my job is, as a chamber, ... to support business in town.

2023’s block party, which included a mobile bar and beer sales by the American Legion, generated positive feedback, she added.

“The event played to great reviews for a first-time event, so successful that it was decided to hold (it) again, with the chamber and town partnering,” said Ms. Price.

Councilwoman Christina Diaz Malone said she attended the event last March.

“I had a blast. Everybody behaved,” she said.

Ms. Price agreed, adding that there were no safety concerns during the previous promotion.

“To my knowledge, we didn’t have any issues last year with people getting drunk or causing a scene at all. We know people are going to drink,” she said. “We want to say that it is a community, family-friendly event. We want kids to be able to come out and enjoy themselves in a contained space. We think that we will accomplish that.”

With the Sussex County Courthouse lot unavailable due to construction of Family Court, Revelation offered its grounds for the 2024 gathering.

Ms. Price said the brewery is “the least impactful to anyone because we don’t have to have the town Public Works guys come out and do anything other than bring the stage out. When we were at the courthouse, they were out there putting trash cans out, policing. The same thing with the police department. They were out there because there were road closures, and they were helping with traffic.”

Noting the logistical support the chamber receives from the town and police at its events, Ms. Price said only one officer is needed this year. “We’re doing all the parking across the street, and police would help people cross to Revelation,” she said.

Meanwhile, other planning continues for the party, which will run noon to 5 p.m.

It will feature Precision Paintball’s gaming trailer, an inflatable from Backyard Adventure Rentals, face painting and balloon art from The Sandy Roost, a photo booth from C.M. Baker, the Cocktails at 3 band and Ray’s Sand Art.

The event will also include a free St. Patrick’s Day Bake-off. Judges will decide first- through third-place winners in categories for pies, cakes, cupcakes and cookies.

Ms. Price said she is hopeful next month’s party, which replaced the town’s New Year’s Eve celebration after weather difficulties, will surpass the inaugural event in 2023.

“This is a win-win all the way around,” she said. “I’m really happy about how it is coming together.”

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