Regan Weiss posted a great picture on facebook last night. It showed the large crowd waiting for the family movie, “The Croods” to start.
In the discussion that followed, Regan commented “Change the behavior, change the view of downtown. We all win.” His observation is brilliant.
My wife and I celebrated our 39th anniversary with a steak dinner at Mezzaluna’s, followed by attending “The Church Basement Ladies” at Jimmy Ferraro’s Studio Theatre. Jimmy just opened this past weekend. The Friday night grand opening was sold out, as was Sunday’s matinee. The Saturday night show we attended was pretty close to sold out, with only a handful of empty seats when the show started.
“Church Basement Ladies” is an adult show in the best sense of the word. No four letter words, no nudity, no racy anything. It helps if you can remember what our society was like back before what passes for entertainment today became one foul language stream of sexual innuendo and snickers. At the intermission, you could buy sodas, water, and packaged cookies…
The Croods is an animated “family” film. Nothing particularly offensive and aimed at a younger audience than Church Basement Ladies. The Croods was shown for free by the New Port Richey Parks and Recreation Department.
For whatever reason, the Rec Department somehow forgot to line up the beer truck we’ve been told is essential to having a good time downtown or attracting a crowd to Sims Park. Hmmm.
“Change the behavior, change the view”… Regan may be onto something here.
We had two wholesome options for entertainment in the downtown Saturday night and people responded by showing up in droves.
The Rap River Run fund raiser this coming Saturday will again be attracting well over 1000 athletes. (I’ve heard 1,800, but haven’t been able to verify that.) Athletes will be paying between $30 and $75 each to participate. Do the math. No beer truck at this event either…
Good events CAN and DO attract crowds to New Port Richey. It is possible to attend an event in Sims Park, have a good time, and be able to remember where you put your car when it is time to go home. (Unlike the lady who illegally parked behind my store one Saturday night and then got so hammered at an event in the park that she reported her car as stolen).
I’m going to go out on a limb and make a radical suggestion: Let’s let the bars off Railroad Square cater to the crowd thirsty for “adult” beverages. They have experience dealing with folks who might have one too many. We could even make it easier for them to throw regular “block parties” on Railroad Square for things like St. Pattys’ Day. The bars pay taxes and the city spent a million dollars on Railroad Square. Letting the bars take advantage of Railroad Square as a party zone sounds like a win-win to me.
At the same time, let’s see if we can attract more family friendly events to Sims Park and the downtown in general.
We have a pair of great live theaters downtown. We have a family movies in the park program. We have sporting events like the Rap River Run. Do you know what I call that? A good start.
Change the behavior, change the view indeed.
Rob Marlowe, Mayor