Compared to last year, the FAME Festival this weekend was quite a success.
Last year, the day was spoiled by a torrential downpour, with only a few determined citizens checking out the few hardy exhibitors, along with the Strawberry Festival being jam-packed inside the Historical Society building.
This year, organizers paid heed to the weather reports and decided on Friday to postpone the festival to Sunday, which made it possible to get the warning in the paper Saturday so people would know when to come. A good decision made in a timely manner can make a huge difference.
All the festival-goers who talked to Phoenix staffers said they were enjoying themselves, another tribute to organizers. It's too bad that some exhibitors said business wasn't as good as they had hoped, but apparently it's a widespread trend that street festivals aren't doing as well as in the past, probably due to continuing economic worries and some changes in shopping patterns. Hopefully the festival's success this year can be built on for an even better one next year. Support for that hope is illustrated by a comment from 102.9 WMGK's John DeBella, "Now that I know how to get to Phoenixville, I may tell other people about it."
However, there is one problem with downtown festivals that can and should be addressed. It would have been nice if the Main Street entrance/exit to the municipal parking lot between Bridge and Mill streets could have been fixed before the FAME Festival. Some people who use that lot had been pleasantly surprised by how quickly its resurfacing had been done, with carefully executed plans leaving most parking spots available except for about a week. However, the fact that the entrance is still partially blocked off and paved with gravel, about a month after the main work was finished, is a continuing irritation. If nothing else, the borough ought to get it repaired before Blobfest, the next downtown street festival - but residents and workers really shouldn't have to wait that additional month.