City Hall Meeting Tonight Regarding Permits That May Restrict "Friday Night Live" - An Editorial

Wednesday evening City Hall Meeting to be held regarding new permits to impact "Friday Night Live." Blogger Dan Reams shares his thoughts regarding FNL's beneficial impacts to the community.

This morning, Waukesha's own posted an interesting notice, on its Facebook page, regarding a meeting tonight (Feb 29th), to be held at City Hall. The topic of the meeting is the subject of creating "extensive and restrictive permits," for local businesses, and the intimation is that such permits would cripple Waukesha's highly popular "Friday Night Live" event.

Although I have not read the permit proposals, assuming there is a valid concern, to the impact to Friday Night Live, I offer a few thoughts.

My out-of-town friends and family members are impressed when I describe to them Waukesha's Friday Night Live.  They tell me how they wish their town would have such an event, where families can go, safely (thanks to the blocked off streets), see live music, grab a bite to eat, and purchase interesting merchandise not available at their local box stores.

For many, Friday Night Live offers first contact with live music, helping to foster a life-long interest.  My own kids play instruments, and although I have no direct proof, I attribute some of their enthusiasm to seeing the great responses the musicians get on the streets of Waukesha.

As for the impact to local commerce, as much as I adore downtown Waukesha, I do not live there.  So, I might not get to Cuddles, or Sprizzo Caffe', or The Steaming Cup, or Magellan's, without the Friday Night Live REMINDER to do so.  I likely would not have discovered the not-on-Main Street establishments, such as J.Lotti's and Outpost Music, had I not been walking around due to the festive nature of FNL. The event serves as icing on the great downtown offerings cake as well as an entree itself.

I see older kids walking around, in their small groups, laughing and smiling, causing no trouble at all, clapping and tapping their feet to the performers.  I see well off, executive types, letting their hair down and chatting with the local characters, discussing a song, performed by "Francesca and the 440 Hum", or asking "What sandwich is that, and where did you get it?"  I see people coming out of Galleria Edge, grinning at their surprise discovery, not of just their newly prized purchase, but at the very existence of the store.

I see community.

Friday Night Live is an organic, logical next step in the downtown revitalization project that has been ongoing for years.  Without Downtown Live, the phrase, "Build it, and they will come," has no meaning for that area.  A park with no ball game is no attraction at all.  A Ferrari without wheels has no riders.  An anthem without a hook is no anthem at all.

Keep the hook.

Oh wise Waukesha representatives, if you have a problem, with a leg, work to heal the leg.  Don't cut it off.

Keep Friday Night alive.


This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Dan Reams February 29, 2012 at 04:36 PM
A note from the author: I will be attending tonight's City Hall meeting and will post a follow-up afterward. I hope to get details regarding the permit proposals. - d.r
Herbert February 29, 2012 at 06:42 PM
I can only say if Waukesha screws up what they have going on with the Friday Night Live event it will be a real shame.
Kerry Mackay March 01, 2012 at 07:22 AM
Dan writes well on the value of the event. In the background are the details that we often leave out. Details around the stage managers that spend hours before the event putting up the no parking signs, preparing barricades, setting up stages. Then during the event they monitor their stages, keeping watch on crowd behavior, staying in touch with our police partners and the teardown and cleanup afterwards. Remember that FNL is a free event and we all do not make ends meet even when large crowds show up. We work hard and just want to continue to do this to provide a honestly valued event for our community. When the concept of ordinance change was presented, the proposal showed extremes that honestly threw me way off base. Extremes to me included hiring security personnel, renting porta-potties, hefty insurance and excluding animals. My light analysis showed that just one of those extremes would stop me from participating. I just don't make the money to afford that. So the group that suggests the ordinance offers a tongue in cheek response of " That would be a shame if FFNL had to suffer" I find myself at a point where I see the end of my involvement. I am unwilling to passively 'hope' for a good outcome. My passion is all I can afford to use to protect the event and the good times I HOPE are ahead. Thanks for sharing your passion. I hope this adds better understanding to my side of this issue...
Dan Reams March 02, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Good point, Herbert. Kerry, thanks for your comments. You were amazing to watch at the meeting the other night. I took extensive notes, but posting them, in linear fashion, would be both boring and confusing. I will try to edit them into a semblance of cohesion and blog some time this weekend.
LifeLongWaukeshaResident March 02, 2012 at 08:27 PM
I'm really disappointed that Waukesha Officials have let a few squeaky wheels that live near the end of W Main St influence this issue so much. Just because you dumped alot of money into a bad location for what you thought was going to be quiet residential living, doesn't give you the right to throw the ultimate tamtrum because it didn't turn out the way you wanted. If you didn't realize being sandwiched between The Wisconsin House and Donnie Boys was a bad idea is your own fault, not the rest of the people who enjoy Friday Night Live.


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