The Seventh Avenue Merchants Association wants to remind members they get half-off booths at next month’s annual Melrose Street Fair. Now in it’s 16th year, the event draws thousands and also shuts down 7th Avenue between Indian School Road and the Grand Canal. Sponsors and vendors are not limited to Melrose merchants, who should act by Feb. 15th if they want to showcase their shops alongside artisans, events, and even corporate sponsors of the March 3rd event.
“A lot of local businesses on 7th Ave don’t really know they can participate,” said Rochelle Poulton, S.A.M.A.’s Street Fair Committee Chair at their general meeting Jan. 26. “If you buy a booth or sponsorship, you’ll be on social media, the website, and the map that’s handed to everyone.”
Wife of S.A.M.A. President Mike Poulton, Rochelle joined last year to organize the iconic Melrose event which raises awareness of the neighborhood and funds for the non-profit merchants association. “It may be a good idea to collaborate with other businesses and do your own booths there,” she said. “Anything you can think of we can probably work with you in terms of marketing and ways to advertise.”
Booth prices range from about $52 to $250 for S.A.M.A. members, depending on location and size, and discounts for bulk spaces. Vendors can register online at M7Streetfair.com or contact Rochelle Poulton or Street Fair marketing coordinator Jackie Caro at 480-495-8924. S.A.M.A. asks that no one sell weapons.
The Board has not yet released a list of current vendors but attractions will include a tequila and beer garden, live entertainment, a kissing booth and Chester’s Classic Car Show, hosted this year by Denver Davis of Denver’s Car Care. Charities like Penelope the Therapy Pig will also be there and so will an author who will raffle off a free mini-library. Echo magazine, Phoenix Pride, and World Bizarre will also have information booths. “If someone wins that free library and it’s installed in Melrose, I will install solar lighting,” Mike Poulton said.
Melrose merchants may see less car traffic than normal due to the street closure. “The reason we shut down the street is to bring awareness to all of the businesses,” Rochelle said. “There’s tons of parking lots that are not going to be accessible.” She said Street Fair is an opportunity for pedestrian traffic from those who don’t regularly visit the area, and also for vendors who don’t have storefronts.
Mike Poulton explained how S.A.M.A. strategically places Street Fair participants: “We put a lot of thought into who goes where,” he said. “Both to group vendor types so that people have a consistent experience, and also to make it harmonious between street fair vendors and permanent businesses.” Location is also prioritized on the amount of booths purchased or level of sponsorship. “We don’t want to put all the food trucks in front of restaurants or arts and craft vendors in front of arts and craft stores,” he elaborated. “The whole point is to get exposure for people who want exposure.”
Community Alliance of Seventh Avenue Board Member Pam Pawlowski announced there is still room for more classic cars. Plans are still being finalized, but the Volkswagen Bus Group, the Chevelle, Model A, and Packard Motor Clubs have been invited as well as Fenders and Friends. Those wanting more details should contact Denver’s Car Care. A 2014 interview with Pawlowski about the Street Fair, and others, can be heard at ThisMelroseLife.com.