People living near the Santa Cruz County Fairground in Watsonville, Calif., recently met with fair management and board members to engage in a conversation about noise issues. The major causes for concern were the Friday night races at Ocean Speedway and the Sunday flea and farmers market, both held on Santa Cruz County Fair property.
Flea market director Patricia Rodriguez spoke at the meeting and was described by the San Jose Mercury News as “eager” to engage in a constructive dialog with community members. She said that she would decrease the duration and loudness of musical acts at the market. She went on to say:
“As long as I can remember, we’d always go outside of our community to these markets. My idea in bringing this to the community was not with the intention to bother or be a nuisance, but to bring that economic factor so a lot of local restaurants which are here can sell food and a lot of local businesses would benefit from all these people who go out and spend money and stay here. And I feel I’ve succeed in that.”
Fairgrounds manager Mike Bethke added that he hopes to continue to meet with members of the community.
The noise issue first came up at a Fairground board meeting, at which the members of the board took up the issue of a long-term contract for Rodriguez and her Sunday market. That long-term contract is still up in the air, pending the board’s review of the market’s financial statements. Rodriguez tells FleaMarketZone that the market’s success depends on the advertising and attractions she has added to bring people to her event, including music, presents for kids, and special events.
“I did social work for over 12 years, and I have seen the needs in the community,” says Rodriguez. “My idea is to make this work, partnering with nonprofits and the people who come out to help the community.”