Woonsocket's Main Street Stroll still set for Wednesday

Woonsocket's Main Street Stroll still set for Wednesday

WOONSOCKET – There will not be a "fire breathing" rocket launched off the building that houses The Woonsocket Call Wednesday night, but the Main Street Holiday Stroll, an annual seasonal event filled with caroling, holiday revelry and a visit from Santa, will still take place.

The event was scheduled to be "two events in one," with organizers from the city's 125th anniversary Block Party teaming up with planners of the yearly Holiday Stroll for an enhanced celebration drawing a close to the city's 125th year. On Friday, however, administrators from Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt's office said that those involved had not obtained the necessary permits for some of the activities.

"The mayor’s office is disappointed that the Main Street Riverfront Initiative’s enhanced plans for fireworks, open fire pits, and a rocket launch, will not be a part of the very popular Main Street stroll," a press release on the issue explained. "However, the city first learned of these plans on the first day of the new administration."

In an article titled "Event Canceled," in Saturday's edition of the newspaper, Call publisher Mary Lynn Bosiak said that the additional requirements of permitting and insurance requested by the mayor would have cost more than $2,300. The Call was a sponsor of the Last Night festivities and Bosiak herself was one of two main organizers. Among the activities planned as part of "Last Night" was an attempt to have a rocket, described as a "fire breathing ornamental piece" launched off the newspaper's Main Street headquarters.

The Call's article made no reference to the myriad of other activities, from a singing competition, to participation by dozens of local businesses and vendors, that will still go on.

“The good news is that that Main Street Stroll will still go forward as planned, and I urge all our residents and neighbors to stop by, stroll, and support or local businesses during the holiday season. It will still be a great family event,” said Baldelli-Hunt.

“The city was ready, willing, and able to assist the organization in any way, but we could not sanction activities that were planned but not properly vetted with the various city agencies nor permit the use of public property without the necessary certificates of insurance,” said Richard Kearns, Baldelli-Hunt's new director of administration. “Public safety must be our primary concern, and there was simply a lack of communication with city leading up to the event for the necessary vetting to be done for these enhancements.”