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By Paul Bendix

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About this blog: A 32-year resident of Menlo Park, I regularly make my way around downtown in a wheelchair. This gives me an unusual perspective on a town in which I have spent almost half of my life. I was educated at UC Berkeley, and permanentl...  (More)

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A Street Fair by Any Other Name

Uploaded: Jul 17, 2014
It's reliably enjoyable, not to mention multifaceted and diverse...Menlo Park's public event of the year, the Connoisseur's Marketplace. And it's happening this Saturday and Sunday, 19-20 July.

Actually, it is all positive, this July weekend that annually draws several thousand people to Menlo Park's otherwise sleepy downtown. The outdoor festival showcases regional artisans and displays their work to highly entertaining effect. It's even a chance to hear good music, get your face painted and meet members of the Menlo Park Police. Incredibly, the whole affair is well organized and well run. So what could possibly be wrong?

The name. Can't we find another? I would say that almost everyone flocks to the Connoisseur's Marketplace...except connoisseurs. The street fair is much more than a marketplace. And there's nothing in the name that gives credit to our fair city, Menlo Park.

Isn't there a better name for this, our largest civic gathering? I am most think that the subtitle, "Menlo Park's Mid-Summer Festival of the Arts," would serve us better.

What do you think?

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 +  Like this comment
Posted by Rudy, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park,
on Jul 17, 2014 at 2:29 pm

Psst...Paul...it is put on by mostly volunteers and is presented by the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce. Consult with them...

 +  Like this comment
Posted by MP resident, a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows,
on Jul 21, 2014 at 9:18 am

Connoisseur's Marketplace. Keep it. Wine and Arts fairs (although they are the exact same thing) just don't give Menlo Park it's just due... We're better than the other cities.

 +  Like this comment
Posted by MenloShopper, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park,
on Jul 22, 2014 at 9:34 am

I tend to agree with Paul's suggestion, that a re-branding could be in order. You've got a whole population out there that's used to the current name so any change would have to be part of a larger communication campaign to attract new consumers. So not a bad idea, but not easy either.

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