Organizers Still Ask: Why was Sustainability Fair Denied Permit?
5/12/2014 (Updated 11:15:22 PM)It's a music fair to promote environmental sustainability, but it's leaving a trail of controversy as it moves from Binghamton to Owego...
The Big Splash Sustainability Fair has taken place at Binghamton's Rec Park for the past three years.
This year, it will happen on may 24th and 25th at the Tioga County Fair Grounds in Owego.
Binghamton Mayor Rich David said that unlike past years the Big Splash would conflict with the opening of the carousel and pool at Rec Park, something he wanted to avoid by working with the organizers to find another weekend.
In a statement, an event coordinator said David denied the permit fewer than 30 days before the event.
Supporters of the event don't buy the logic the event would interfere with the opening of Rec Park's attractions.
"Whatever they pictured, like a Phish concert or or something, if you look at the pictures, look at the families, look at the kids, look at the people playing frisbee, look at people picnicing, look at acoustic music going on, if they looked at that there's no sane reason to have said no," said Jeff Kahn, owner of Cyber Cafe and supporter of the Big Splash Sustainability Fair.
"[I wanted] to work with the organizers on another date that they could accommodate the festival and I think what happens is people don't like being told no. And when they don't get what they want they lash out and look for reasons that don't exist," said David.
Event organizer Jon McNamara said he feels the big splash event will remain in Owego for many years to come.
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