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CHICOPEE – The first ever Chicopee Downtown Block Party on Saturday, September 12, 2015 was a huge hit, drawing upwards of 7,000 people for the one day event that began at noon and lasted until 11:00 PM.
The event which included musical performances from legendary Western Massachusetts rock band Fat and Chicopee’s own The Varlets drew people from all over Western Massachusetts to Chicopee’s downtown.
“I am very proud of what we were able to accomplish,” said Mayor Richard Kos. “We couldn’t have done this without the help of so many people. In less than two months we organized an event with goal of bringing people downtown to see everything it has to offer. Our community responded with great interest. It was a special day.”
“Since the event, owners of our vacant store fronts have seen several inquiries about rental of their spaces,” said Eileen Drumm, President of the Chicopee Chamber of Commerce. “This event did everything it was supposed to. Our vendors and downtown businesses were thrilled with the turnout. Now everyone knows, downtown Chicopee is alive and well, and is open for business!”
City Planner Lee Pouliot, who wrote the grant application that secured a $7,500 grant to help get this event off the ground, expressed his satisfaction with the turnout. “7,000 people came downtown to celebrate Chicopee and its downtown. It doesn’t get any better than that.”
Chicopee restaurants Doogan’s Deli, Bernats, Babci’s Pierogi, Milanos, and Masse’s joined other food and merchandise vendors at the event. Wings Over, the popular chicken wing chain that started in Amherst, Massachusetts debuted in Chicopee serving their signature wings. They will be opening a location at 1408 Memorial Drive in mid-October.
Parking issues which have been considered to be major concern for years in the downtown were virtually nonexistent as 7,000 people packed our downtown,” said Mayor Kos.
The City earlier this year assisted in the opening of the Ferris parking lot on Center Street to complement a number of other parking initiatives in the downtown.