The Shamrock Shuttle is scheduled to come to Frankford Avenue on March 3, and neighborhood groups are working with bar owners to make it a peaceful event.
The Shuttle is held every year in anticipation of St. Patrick’s Day. Hundreds of people walk or take a shuttle to bars on or near Frankford Avenue in Mayfair.
The Mayfair, Tacony and Holmesburg civic associations and the Mayfair Business Association are serving as intermediaries between bar owners and the neighbors and businesses that they represent. They hope the giant party is fun and profitable, but also safe and respectful.
Complaints in past years have included public urination, litter and open containers of alcohol.
The groups are recommending that bar owners secure 74 portable toilets; pay for 30 private security guards who’ll be on the avenue from 2 to 8 p.m.; place 100 cardboard trash cans/boxes on every corner and along sidewalks; choose a beer “Cup of the Day” for revelers so they don’t walk the avenue with other alcoholic beverages; print signs that list rules for the partiers; obtain special event permits; and hang “No Parking” signs outside the bars so the buses can pull to the curb.
The recommendations, if accepted, would be expensive. Each of the 12 participating bars would have to pay almost $1,000.
“We can’t make the bar owners do anything,” said Joe DeFelice, president of the Mayfair Civic Association.
Initially, after a meeting between both sides at Reale’s Sports Bar & Grille, the bar owners are agreeing to rent portable toilets and clear parking in front of their establishments, but they won’t hire private security guards or develop rules for partiers.
Capt. Frank Bachmayer, commander of the 15th Police District, has indicated he will have beefed-up foot patrols. Also, Mayfair Town Watch members will serve in a hospitality role.
The Father Judge High School football team will clean up the next day on the 3500 block of Cottman Ave., along with Frankford Avenue from Bleigh Avenue to Wellington Street.
The Jan. 31 civic meeting was held at the John M. Perzel Community Center. The next day, Perzel’s name was removed from the building. The former state House speaker will be sentenced on March 21 after pleading guilty to corruption charges.
In other news:
• An Easter egg hunt will take place on Saturday, March 24, at Mayfair Memorial Playground, at Rowland Avenue and Vista Street.
The event will include music and an appearance by the Easter Bunny. Last year, more than 1,000 people attended.
Meanwhile, fund-raising continues for the playground to add equipment.
• The fifth annual Mayfair May Fair has been set for Saturday, May 19. The day includes sidewalk sales and live music along Frankford Avenue.
That same day, there will be the fourth annual Mayfair Fallen Heroes Run. More than $15,000 was raised in the first three years for Hero Thrill Show Inc., which provides college scholarships for the children of Philadelphia police officers and firefighters killed or disabled in the line of duty.
Almost 400 people ran and walked around Abraham Lincoln High School last year. Past honorees have been 15th Police District community relations officer Gary Skerski, firefighter John Redmond and police Sgt. Patrick McDonald.
This year’s honoree will be firefighter Joseph Konrad, who was killed in a 1984 arson fire in Fishtown when the floors of the house collapsed.
• In zoning-related news, the civic association continues to work with Hertz and the building owner to help the rental car agency open an office on the 7200 block of Frankford Ave., near Cottman Avenue.
Also, the former Fashion Bug at 6520 Frankford Ave. is being eyed as a new fitness center.
And neighbors report no problems with the new Rolling Thunder Skating Center at 7017 Roosevelt Blvd. Residents considered its predecessors, WOW and Jamz, to be a nuisance at closing time.
• Marc Collazzo, an aide to state Rep. John Taylor, said more than $30,000 was raised for St. Hubert High School during a recent fund-raiser at SmokeEaters Pub.
The civic association wrote a letter to the Rev. Charles J. Chaput, archbishop of Philadelphia, asking that he grant the school’s appeal to stay open. A blue ribbon commission recommended that the school close because of a deficit and declining enrollment.
• Sandy Stewart, who last year ran for the 6th Councilmanic District seat, recently spoke in Council against a bill sponsored by Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown that would allow bars to stay open an extra hour, until 3 a.m. Stewart would favor that policy for Center City and entertainment districts, but not for local neighborhoods.
• Mia Hylan provides all the latest information on local businesses and writes a blog at mayfairbiz.blogspot.com
• The newly formed Mayfair Town Watch held a certification training session last week. To join the group, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Milt Martelack, president of the Town Watch, said too many dog owners are letting their pets roam free at Lincoln.
On a related note, a resident of the 3400 block of Friendship St. said he would smush dog dirt into the face of the next pet owner who fails to curb his dog on his property. ••EndFragment