Mayor Dave Augustyn’s Column for week of 5 March 2018 - Pelham Summerfest and Pelham Supper Market
Councillor Accursi and I were delighted to join Vickie, Sally, and Jodi – some of Pelham’s dedicated Recreation, Culture & Wellness Staff – at the Festivals & Events Ontario Awards Gala on Friday night in Hamilton. Not only was the F&EO gala a great event, but Festivals & Events Ontario awarded Pelham two coveted honours.
Thanks and congratulations to the dedicated volunteers and staff, generous sponsors, enthusiastic vendors, and the more than 40,000 participants at last year’s Pelham Summerfest. Festivals & Events Ontario recognized your efforts and goal to bringing the community together by recognizing Summerfest as one of Ontario’s Top 100 Festivals / Events in 2017! This is the fourth time that F&EO has recognized Pelham Summerfest’s four days of free, family fun as one of the top 100 in the Province and one of just a handful in the Niagara Peninsula. Congratulations all!
We were also pleasantly surprised and honoured the Festivals & Events Ontario awarded the Pelham Supper Market the 2018 Best Greening Festival / Event!
You know that Pelham Supper Market is a free admission, weekly Market where local and regional residents gather to enjoy a Summer evening in the park, food and beverages from local vendors, and with live music performed by area artists. The Supper Market begins the first Thursday of June and continues each week from 4:00 PM to dusk and until the second Thursday of September. Pelham’s Supper Market is organized by the Town’s Recreation, Culture & Wellness Department along with community volunteers and is located in Peace Park in downtown Fonthill.
Staff estimate that more than 43,000 people enjoyed the Supper Market over the entire summer!
That’s why it’s amazing that the weekly event generated no garbage! The Green Zone is a recycling/ compost station which is set up near the food vendors on market evenings. The Green Zone aims to recycle/ compost all items which would instead be delivered to the landfills. Last year, the event diverted 395 kgs of recyclable material, and diverted 1419kgs of organic material! What a huge improvement from previous years where tons of waste was landfilled after each Thursday night.
Part of the event’s success comes from the incentive program to vendors who participated in the Greening part. Staff encouraged the use of compostable serving materials and recyclable containers with a “GO Green Rebate” program; 12 vendors took part and the results – zero garbage – are outstanding!
The Supper Market also encouraged 141 people to ride their bike with a special Bike Valet program. The Bike Valet aims to help encourage active transport among residents who plan on attending the Supper Market. Residents who arrive to the Supper Market via their bicycle have the opportunity to leave their bike with the Bike Valet for safe-keeping during the event. Bikes are stored in an orderly fashion and marked with an identification number to ensure they are returned to their owner. Our community is a bike friendly award recipient so its no wonder over the last four years the bike valet has watched more than 600 bikes!
Riding a bike not yet your speed? We also offered a Shuttle Service for the last four years. This initiative was created to decrease the amount of cars in the downtown and help decrease the carbon footprint. More and more residents use this service every year. Over the last four years we’ve had just over 500 riders.
We also partnered with the Region’s Public Works department for the Water Wagon initiative. In 2016, we were able to secure the wagon on a weekly basis, and were able to encourage residents to bring their refillable water bottles. In 2017 we were only able to secure the wagon once per month, but it was still a great promotion for residents to use their refillable bottles! It’s estimated that the Water Wagon filled reusable bottles with 1,200 litres of safe, fresh drinking water in 2017.
It’s gratifying and much appreciated to be honoured by Festivals & Events Ontario. Congratulations and thanks to all staff and volunteers who work so hard to make these events such a huge success!
You may contact Mayor Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org or read past columns and link to documents at www.pelhammayordave.blogspot.ca.