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Plans for multi-day festival and street closure draws ire in Cherry Creek neighborhood

Organizer says he has good intentions
Posted at 9:47 PM, Jul 26, 2018

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DENVER -- Residents in Cherry Creek aren't happy to learn about a festival that will shutdown their residential street and they feel like they were the last to know. 

"Events like this are terrific, this is just the wrong place to do it," said Trish Beck-Palamara, a resident who will be impacted by the closure. 

An art festival called Smash in the Square is set to take place the weekend of August 18 in the 200 block of South Jackson Street. According Denver's Office of Special Events, the organizer met all the requirements to hold the festival.

The festival will shutdown a residential street for the multi-day event but people living on South Jackson Street say they weren't notified. 

"I’d like to ask you, how would you feel if all of a sudden you were told a festival was going to open on your street," said Bill Tanner with the Cherry Creek East Association. 

Residents held an informational meeting on Thursday night that quickly turned heated. The festival organizer, Anthony Constantino Jr., was there to answer questions along with Councilman Wayne New and other city officials.

Constantino did not want to answer any questions from the reporter at the meeting but in an email to Denver7 he said, "I have a good heart trying to give back and do good in my community. I have every best intention and good will."

Denver7 also reached him by phone prior to the meeting and asked him to do an interview about the festival.

Councilman New said he was only made aware of the festival about two weeks ago. He immediately called a meeting with lawyers and several city agencies including officials with the Department of Public Works, who are in charge of the road closure.

"It’s just a ridiculous situation," said New. "It could happen to you, it could happen to the mayor's street (from) what it sounds like."

New and residents feel like there's a double standard because in order for homeowners on that street to throw a block party, they would need to get approval from 75 percent of residents impacted by the street closure.

"We've got to change this and we're going to change this either through an ordinance or public works," New told Denver7. 

Councilman New added it could be too late to change anything before the festival in his district but he's hoping to draft an ordinance that would prevent this situation in other neighborhoods.