The Culpeper Ruritan Club is moving ahead with plans for Culpeper Day 2013 despite disappointment over street closure decisions made by the Culpeper Town Council.
After being rebuffed at council meetings in October and November in attempts to secure the same street closures as in previous years and after a decision on downtown parking lot use was put off by the Culpeper Parking Authority in December, the community service club decided half a loaf is better than none.
“Culpeper Ruritan Club will host 2013 Culpeper Day on May 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. along Davis Street and the Depot area as allotted by the Town of Culpeper,” wrote club secretary Billy Walter last week.
As has been done since 1979, the Ruritans asked the council in October to close off Davis Street for Culpeper Day.
After some discussion then and in a later committee meeting it appeared there might be enough votes among council members to deny the request.
After the October meeting, Councilman Dave Lochridge met with Walter, who presented the original request, and it appeared a deal had been struck to keep Culpeper Day on Davis Street.
However, just before the vote at the Nov. 13 meeting, Councilman Bobby Ryan, a supporter of the Davis Street merchants who say the festival is causing them lost revenue,, offered an amendment.
The original motion, offered by Lochridge with the support of both Culpeper Renaissance and the Ruritans, would have allowed closing of the 200 block of East Davis Street but kept the 100 block open.
Ryan’s amendment, which was supported by all of the councilmen (Ben Phillips was absent) with the exception of Lochridge and Mayor Chip Coleman, allows only part of the 200 block – the area used for Third Thursday events – to be blocked off.
“We, as a community service group, will continue to address needs and concerns in the community through programs such as Culpeper Day,” Walter wrote. “Culpeper Day will again be a time for all to renew friendships, visit our downtown and enjoy this spring tradition.”
Proceeds from Culpeper Day enable the Ruritans to fund community projects and scholarships.