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Police Plan Crack Down on Peddlers at Local Holiday Events

The Marblehead Police Department will be on the look out for unauthorized street vendors at many of this year's holiday events.

If you've attended Marblehead's Fourth of July Fireworks Display, the annual downtown Tree Lighting Ceremony or Santa's Arrival by Lobster Boat, you've probably noticed the swarm of street vendors who show up to sell balloons, toys and fluorescent necklaces out of shopping carts to children in the crowd. 

In the hopes of keeping unauthorized peddlers, hawkers, or whatever you choose to call them from showing up at this year's events, organizers have asked Police Chief Robert Picariello to instruct officers to keep an eye out for them.

At their meeting at Abbot Hall Wednesday night, Marblehead Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ann Marie Casey appeared before the Board of Selectmen to explain how local officials are planning to thwart the efforts of area peddlers.

"We've determined that the best way to verify who is there and who is supposed to be there is by having a sign on each booth that says authorized vendor," Casey said, adding, "So when we have people show up at the very last minute, we're requesting that police have permission to tell them to leave the area."

Board members unanimously approved the Chamber's request and Picariello, who was on hand for Wednesday night's meeting, agreed to have officers keep their eyes peeled for unauthorized vendors.

"Because this is a chamber-sponsored event, and a community event, we need to pay attention to what goes on around there," Casey said.

What do you think about the Chamber's effort to keep unauthorized vendors away from these events? Do you support keeping peddlers away from the crowd?

Do you have sympathy for the peddlers or enjoy the products they sell?

Let us know in the comments section below.

Peter Lake, LAKE Real Estate November 19, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Yes, those illegal balloon vendors must be rooted out and driven from our town. Children must not be allowed to buy bootleg fluorescent necklaces! What's our budget for tar and feathers? The police must devote their full resources to this, as long as they're not needed to solve the recent sail-by shootings.
Susan Fader November 19, 2012 at 03:34 PM
It is about time! I stopped participating years ago as an invited volunteer to do face painting during the street Festival. Outside, and other "pop-up" vendors, took up precious space available during the Street Festival. I was doing something I love for our community, but the dynamics took away from the goodwill and the unique qualities of the community Festival. At the time no action was taken to correct the matter. I am thrilled to see that the Chamber recognized the situation and made a stand. Hopefully going forward we will see more of this type of representation by them and others interested only in bringing a concern to someone's attention.
chip randall November 19, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Does " Authorized Street Peddlers " mean non-resident fee paying peddlers ? Santa Claus is all about money nowadays. I recall when the USS Constitution visited Marblehead in 1997 there were a slew of peddlers that were granted space ( Leased ) at the turnaround at the end of Front Street at the Fort and they complained to either the Board of Health or to the Selectmen, and the police shut the 12 year olds down for selling canned drinks. Their parents got involved and they moved their stand back 15 +/- feet onto the Private Lane and kept on with them moving Cokes etc with a suggested donation to a college fund. They did very well for the time the Constitution was here. The three or four all went to college too. None of them majored in Government or law.
Betty Kennedy November 20, 2012 at 06:17 AM
I think that banning 'outside' vendors is a bit over the top. They are not selling anything that is in direct competition with Marblehead vendors. Quality always trumps quantity and if a child has a 2.00 spending limit, they will opt for something they can afford. Remember back to your own childhood and how great it was to buy penny candy, a balloon etc. with your own money. If folks are buying items not being sold from local vendors, maybe they should provide those items that are in demand. Plus using the word 'peddlars' harkens back to a place that no one who knows anything about Marblehead history should revisit. Out original settlers were escorted out of Salem as being undesirable inhabitatnts. Are we going back to that? Hopefully not.
Sharon Thibodeau November 20, 2012 at 03:16 PM
OMG - it's come to this! Ridiculous when police resources are used for this instead of speeding, pedestrian accidents, etc.
Every Little Breeze Catering November 20, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Instead of taking the information from the selectmans meeting out of context and making generalized comments about it... look at it this way. The Chamber of Commerce is looking out for everyone at these holiday events, especially the children, by asking that ALL vendors simply go through the proper channels and have permits to be there. It has nothing to do with money... its both safety and equality. The Police details are hired for these events to ensure safety. Shouldn't this include knowing that the food vendors have been ok'd by the board of health and other vendors have permits? It would be irresponsible of the Chamber not to make sure all aspects of these family events are safe.

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