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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Victorian Stroll: Does it Show the Best and/or the Worst of Troy?

With more than 20,000 people who attended the Victorian Stroll, without a doubt it was a success - it drew people to the Collar City to see architectural gems and visit businesses that they might not have otherwise seen.

But, with the crowded streets and venues, did the visitors experience the best Troy that they could have?

An article written by my co-worker Katie Roberts noted that many shops were packed which put the shop owners slightly out of their element since they specialize in one-on-one shopping experiences. However, as the Some Girls Boutique owner said, the stroll gives people a taste of what's in Troy so they then come back for more another - less crowded - day.

Then I read several Facebook comments from people saying what a good time they had at the event on Sunday. Good days were also had by the business owners. Sticky Fingers' owner said they sold out their merchandise and they had a celebratory meal afterward.

But for nearly every positive remark I saw, I also saw (or experienced) some negative feedback as well.

People were happy, overall, with the mild weather but it also brought large masses of people and some felt the crowds were not managed as well as they could be. Fellow blogger Kristi Gustafon Barlette said in her Facebook that the Saratoga Streetwalk was even more crowded yet those mobs of people were managed and organized.

In terms of cafes and restaurants, dozens waited much longer than usual for even small coffees or sandwiches. And I'm thinking one of two things will happen now: 1) they will want to come back to experience everything when it's not crowded or 2) they will have a bitter taste from the bad experience no matter how much the owners and managers apologized for the late service or for even running out of food (like what happened around 6pm - prime dinner hour- at the new Bat Shea's Celtic restaurant Sunday, just two days after opening).

This is not the only Troy event I've "critiqued". I also gave some tips for the Chowderfest, which I really hope are taken into consideration.

In the end, I do feel that the Stroll (and Chowderfest) brings more positive than negative feelings for the city, and I have a strong affinity with the event (after all, we're both 29-years-old).


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