Sharon Small Ships Revue in doubt this year - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Sharon Small Ships Revue in doubt this year

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SHARON, Pa. - The organizers of the Small Ships Revue are considering an alternative to the annual event after Sharon city officials ordered that certain steps be taken in the name of public safety.

For 33 years now, the Quaker Steak and Lube has turned the city into a party, complete with a parade downtown and a flotilla of sometimes bizarre homemade watercraft.

A letter dated May 6 from City Manager Scott Andrejchak to Quaker Steak and Lube CEO Greg Lippert noted that the restaurant chain had not filed an application with the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission for a permit to hold the review along the Shenango River this year.

The letter says that the city doesn't believe that available resources can adequately police the event and ensure a reasonably safe environment to the public.

The conclusion is based on recommendations of police officers that have patrolled the event over the past few years, and on what the City Manager calls the nature and character of incidents that occurred last year and in prior years.

"I think the Lube's been wonderful, they've done everything they can, the city's done what it can over the years, unfortunately it just wasn't enough," Andrejchak says.

Concerned over risks to the public safety and and injury to police officers, the city informed Quaker Steak that it will take certain steps on or around the date of the event.Two-way traffic will be maintained along nine streets surrounding the event.  Boats or trailers will not have access to streets leading to boat launches.

The Budd Street canoe launch will be closed.

The city will forbid any parades on public streets.

City parking lots will be closed or have restricted access.

Gatherings on public streets or sidewalks in support of a parade or flotilla will be dispersed.

There will be no public access to to the Riverwalk on the east side of the river between State Street and Shenango Avenue.

No fireworks permits will be issued.

Open container laws will be strictly enforced.

The city will ask PennDot to maintain two-way traffic on State Street.

Bicentennial Park will be closed

Quaker Steak & Lube chief financial officer Fred Dreibholz tells 21 News that because of the restrictions on access to the river, he is not sure if they will be able to have an event involving boats this year.

However, Dreibholz says they are tentatively planning a family oriented charitable event for June 27 on Quaker Steak and Lube property.

There would be games and other events for children during the day, and a concert at night.  Admission to the concert would be seven dollars, or five dollars for people donating a canned good.

Money  raised would be donated to the Ty Longley Memorial Fund and the food will be given to the Community Food Warehouse of Sharon.

"We want to keep tradition, tradition and now we're going to have to modify it in some manner, some way," Fred Dreiholz says, Quaker Steak and Lube CFO. "But again, public safety is our up most concern."

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