The Press

Huntington Park approves chamber’s October street festival

HUNTINGTON PARK — The Greater Huntington Park Area Chamber of Commerce has city approval for its annual Sabor de Mexico Linda (Taste of Beautiful Mexico) street festival on Pacific Boulevard between Florence Avenue and Randolph Street Oct. 2-4.

The City Council Sept. 8 approved an activity in public places permit for the event after chamber officials produced signatures of more than 70 percent of the affected merchants in support of the festival.

Some merchants had complained that the three-day closure of the city’s main shopping area (Pacific Boulevard) was bad for their businesses, causing city officials to require a survey.

“We have met our goal of over 70 percent of support from the merchants. They saw the value of the event for their businesses,” said Leticia Martinez, chamber manager.

She said some stores on Pacific Boulevard are closing. She blamed stiffer competition from surrounding cities such as the Stonewood Mall in Downey and the recently opened Azalea Shopping Center in South Gate.

The three-day event will bring hundreds of thousands of people into the city, Martinez said.

She noted that the merchants have also supported two other traditional chamber events that call for blocking off portions of Pacific Boulevard. They are the Christmas Parade in November and the Carnaval Primavera (Spring Festival) in April.

Martinez said a total of 309 signatures were obtained.

Of the signatures, 233 of the 291 affected businesses approved the upcoming festival, which is more than 80 percent. For the spring carnival, 98 signatures were collected from 128 affected businesses, which is more than 76 percent. For the Christmas parade, 266 signatures were collected from the 419 affected businesses, which is more than 63 percent.

Sabor de Mexico has taken place for the past 22 years. It will feature carnival rides, vendor booths, food booths, exhibits, arts and crafts and a free community health fair.

Attendance is estimated at 150,000 over the three-day period.

Times of operation will be 5 to 11 p.m. Oct. 2, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Oct. 3 and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 4.

Interim City Manager John Ornelas, in a report to the council, said staff has indicated a cost of $40,051.13 to the city which would be charged to the chamber.

It includes $27,994.52 for police services, $2,106.61 for public works, $950 for the building department and $9,000 in lost revenue from parking meters.

He noted that several streets leading into Pacific Boulevard also will be closed.