Chatham Square Neighborhood

A Diverse Fair Haven Community with Historic Homes and a Beautiful Waterfront

The Economic & Community Development group met on Monday, Jan. 16, 2017, from 6 – 7 pm at 20 Grand Ave. Present: Lisa Fitch, Andrew Yim, David Hunter, Lee Cruz, Rich Pizzo, Brenda Brown, Natalie Coe, Christel Manning.


Our main agenda was planning for Riverfest 2017.

  1. Date is set for Saturday, May 20, with rain date Sunday, May 21. This avoids conflict with Artwalk (May 13) and the Fair Haven Family Stroll (May 6).  Start time will likely be as before (11 am to 4 pm).

  2. Andrew Yim with New Haven Runners Association is proposing to organize a 1 mile Dash that would end at or near Riverfest. The dates work for them. We narrowed it down to 2 possible routes, one all on Front street, the other a loop that goes around on Downing. Andrew will test run and get back to us in February for final decision. We also discussed implications for how much street closing is needed. Last year we did not have to pay for police coverage; we hope to get that again this year but it’s not guaranteed. Need volunteer to contact Steve Fontana at Economic Development and ask if they will trade police coverage for Lee’s gastro tour. Should also contact Renee, our recently assigned officer. Runners award ceremony will take place at beginning of Riverfest.

  3. Bands. We hope to get a salsa band led by Carlos, a local guy who lives on Perkins street, plus a second band similar to last year, either Four Barrel Billy again or another band that he knows. In between set will be a dance performance by the Sweet Sixteen Dancers, a groups of local kids who do Latin dancing. We also want to get Bregamos Drummers back to warm up event, starting around 11:30. Our budget, based on last year, is around $400 per band, and $150 for drummers. The dancers would be presented as our “special guest” (similar to Fox Running last year) and would get a plaque. Rich suggested organizing a paid concert the night before; we will discuss this further next month.

  4. Food, beer, kids activities, crafts, fund raising, etc. will be discussed at our February meeting. Next steps: Lee to contact Carlos Salsa Band. Rich will contact the other bands and the drummers. Andrew will test out potential race routes (loop vs. Front Street only). Christel will contact QRWA about canoeing and John Pescatore of CDBi about possible rowing event. She will also ask Stewart about his friend Jeff who owns a new brewery. Lisa will invite Kevin Anastasio’s daughter to attend our next meeting and discuss food and beer.

We briefly discussed Dining Out Night for this month. Lee proposed a Mexican restaurant on Middletown Avenue (a new incarnation of several previous ones recently opened). Possible dates are Jan. 25 or 26. Lee will talk to owner and then post the date and address. 

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