Annual New Hope High Heel Race slated for Oct. 26 on West Mechanic Street

dragThe New Hope Chamber of Commerce said today that it will hold its Annual High Heel Drag Race on Sunday, Oct. 26 at 6:30 p.m. on West Mechanic Street right off South Main Street.

West Mechanic Street between South Main and New streets will be closed from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. for the event, said the chamber.

Local New Hope celebrity Miss Pumpkin will hosting the race, which will benefit the Animal Alliance of New Jersey.

Racer registration is free of charge, and begins at 4:30 p.m. in front of the New Hope Visitor Center, say organizers, and racers must be dressed in “Halloween attire with heels to match.”

Additionally, the chamber will be hosting a “pet costume contest” at 5 p.m., which will feature a “red carpet photo shoot with costumed animals and drag queens.” Registration for the pet costume contest will take place from 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in front of the New Hope Visitor’s Center. There’s a $10 entry fee, along with a $10 “photo fee” for four snapshots, with proceeds benefiting Animal Alliance and the New Hope Chamber of Commerce, says the chamber.

The High Heel Drag Race will be the official kick-off to “Halloween Week”, which will consist of five participating bars and nightclubs hosting costume contests. Find out more online or by calling (215) 862-9990.

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  • On the issue of street closures I remain in the middle. Well organized, and well promoted events always have the potential to drive business. With the exclusion of the Craft Show and the Winter Fire and Ice Ball thing, most of the chamber sponsored events are a bit on the unprofessional side.
    The street closures on Mechanic St. are traditionally forbidding to the general public (barricades that lack signage or information, from down the block you can’t tell if it’s Peco working or something fun going on). I think it’s a general lack of communication between the event organizers, businesses that could be effected (or included in some cases), scheduling, promotion and “follow through” that makes what could be great events into mediocre one that don’t benefit the business community.
    I guess in short my opinion would be that unless the event organizers can follow some basic professional protocols that would ensure the effectiveness of an event to draw people to the street (in this case) that the event not be given the COC blessing (so to speak).
    Event promotion isn’t a constant reinvention of the wheel, communication between the COC and the business community (including non-members) isn’t a new concept either. I think we need to work out a model structure to make the process of event promotion and town wide marketing more effective and efficient, that way, in the future so feeling don’t get hurt and business have the opportunity to prosper.


  • Joel,
    I’ve been here for three years and never have we had a Mechanic Street association meeting??
    I agree we should be asked about closing the street, that was the deal we made with the”old” Chamber and I can assure you it wasn’t done maliciously.
    You sit down there with your friends and talk about closing down our street for a music fair all the time and that would be for “fun” not profit right??
    Closing our street down means we aren’t going have to worry about being run over by some idiot driving 50 miles an hour up our street.
    Why doesn’t anyone complain about that, we need speedbumps or something to help with that situation.
    We all have the opportunity to make money at the event it’s just how you choose to market yourself during that event. It will take work for all to figure it out but I know is can happen I did well last year. If people aren’t shopping in your store when there are 500 people on your street then maybe that’s something the merchants might want to look at such as how does your store look from the outside, is it clean and inviting, does someone want to come into your store.. All that has a factor in it. It’s an opportunity that can work, so instead of looking at the negative change it up..
    Instead of sitting on your stump why don’t you “Volunteer” along with everyone else who is bitching and give some input and maybe some of your guidance and wisdom from many years on various groups and help us. All that information is valid that you seek, I track it also. We have a plan in the works that would not only send us more business but also be able to track it all.
    Joel you are a great neighbor and do lots for me and I send you business also, I appreciate you being on our street and all that you do for my business and I consider you a friend.. but….
    Time to get out of the past, it’s a new day!

  • Nod to both your comments…Terry and Greg. The real issue here is whether businesses have the right to be asked before their streets are closed for whatever event run by whatever organization. I know that I own half the road in front of my store but I don’t have the right to say whether I want it open or closed. It is town policy that all one has to do to close a street was to petition the Borough Counsel for an up or down vote. Then under Sharon Kaiser’s presidency she began to have the petitioners not only inform the businesses of the possible closures but to get their permission. This was done when Mechanic Street had such events as the Ren’ Faire and the various Pirate festivals. If the businesses had any reasonable requests or just wanted to say “No thanks!” we were given the opportunity to do so at the Borough meeting…and that was done and we were heard. We used to have an effective mechanism in the Mechanic Street Merchants Association to voice our opinions. It was a vote of all of us on the street to support or not support and then that vote was passed on to the councel before the scheduled meeting. This mechanism has recently broken down with the new administration and our opinions as affected business owners are once again not being asked for. As far as the Chamber is concerned over all the years they have run events on Mechanic Street since I have been here they have never asked the businesses their opinions and have only, on demand by the Borough informed the businesses before hand of impending closures. This isn’t bitching, this seems to be Chamber policy that has always been in place and only when we stood up for ourselves as businesses have we gotten some consideration. The “neagative crap”, Terry, comes from years of coming to work in the morning and seeing our street blocked off with booths selling some of the same things our shops were selling or cops directing thousands of speeding bikers up our streets in mile long streams of sweating 30 year old weekend “non-shopping” warriors. When 90% of our business is done at a certain time of the week and time of day in that week and we learn that the street up which these customers must come is being closed it’s hard not to say…”Hey! I sure wasn’t asked about this…what’s UP?” I believe that a Chamber of Commerse is supposed to be the organization in a town that has the responsability to represent, support, advertise and advocate for the business faction in a town. In the past, this Chamber has chosen to do this mostly by raising money and by holding and sponsering generally free events that show off our town as a wonderful place to come and have a free good time. The concept being the more people that are in the street the better businesses will do. I think the reason you are seeing more “bitching” is that generally this policy isn’t bringing more profits just people looking for free fun. Who is the perfect tourist? Who comes to New Hope to shop and spend their hard earned money? Where do these people come from…? New York? NE Philly? Allentown? I know that I always ask this of my customers and I advertise in those areas where they come from. I support the businesses on Mechanic Street by sending customers of mine to their stores because if they are sucessful then so am I and I close down the street in front of my store sometimes NOT to make money but just to have fun. I don’t think a Chamber of Commerse is here to make the town fun. That’s MY job.

  • I own a business on Mechanic Street and am looking forward to the race, why wouldn’t we want a lot of people on our street, its exposure. Everyone is always bitching about the “OLD” New Hope and how funky it was, well this event seems to be something funky and fun and for the whole family.
    Greg you’re mad and bitter because of what happened when you had the race and it sounds like you got the short end of the stick here, but instead of being such a jerk about it why don’t you come to us and sit down and figure out how you can help make it even better because I bet you could. AND I know you don’t care about closing the street because according to you, most of your business is not from around here.
    Besides we can all put our merchandise outside and make some sales, and I’m SURE you have tons of stuff that would sell, great opportunity don’t you think. Just like you always say Greg “just another day in paradise” w
    Last year we had a bunch of really happy people and I did quite well as a business, lots of people who had never seen my shop came in. Everyone was happy, the date was even changed to accommodate you and another business on the street.
    No matter what date was picked you would have bitched about it.
    As a Chamber member I’m really tired of hearing about all the complaining, everyone complains and wants to blame us for everything
    We are a NEW CHAMBER and trying to do some fun thing here in town, rebuild from some pretty tough times that 90% of us were not part of. Do you think that maybe just maybe it’s time to just let it go and give us a chance? I mean seriously this is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen, we are new but everyone wants to keep on talking about what the LAST chamber did and the chamber before that it’s exhausting.
    I’m not a hobbyist and I think that if you took a poll in New Hope most people are not hobbyist. Do you even know anything about anyone on the Chamber, we are all business people and either own businesses here or work as management in a business here and we are VOLUNTEERS and work really hard at our businesses and for the Chamber.
    You bitch if there aren’t events, bitch if there are events, bitch if your store isn’t busy, blame the Chamber if your not busy, blame the Chamber because we have no volunteers for Fireworks, bitch about everything you can, bitch if the street is closed, bitch if breath, I mean come on already, It’s so damn tiresome.
    I walk down the street and get yelled at constantly by people about parking and sidewalks and all kinds of BULL.. Seriously people why don’t you FIND OUT what a Chamber is supposed to do, half the crap you complain about isn’t even our responsibility. You don’t even understand your own damn town.
    Here’s a concept: How about everyone work together to bring this town together and work as a team, the merchants, the Chamber, the Borough, STOP all your bitching and reporting on all the negative crap in this town and start cleaning it up and have some pride in the way it looks. Be nice to your neighbor, help your neighbor, treat your fellow neighbor as though they are your friend instead of your enemy.
    I’ll end with a favorite line from a smart woman “GROW UP”

  • A Mechanic St. Drag Race closure for 5 hours is hurtful to Mechanic St. business.

    Having more than successfully managed, marketed and staged the New Hope High Heel Drag Race on Mechanic St for 5 years at my own expense, I can speak with clarity. It takes less than 40 minutes to close the street, assemble the runners, pump up the crowd and actually complete this event, including clean up!

    This even with late entrants and those then current Chamber Official prima donnas being even more late.

    I stopped managing the event when the New Hope Chamber Of Commerce attempted to extort unnecessary insurance funds and their refusal to promote the event without additional fees.

    For 2 years weather canceled the race but the political climate (mayoral election) proved irresistible for many with needing the spotlight.

    Can they be the ones driving this anti business race now?

    It is a source of pride that I can say I spoke to EVERY business on the block prior to scheduling each year and with one voice united I heard that if it must happen, “do it quickly and reopen ASAP!”

    This I did to reasonable satisfaction.

    No one this year asked the shops on this street, the busiest time of year for many here about the race or closure.

    While many Hobbyists on the Chamber feel this closure is welcome, those that work here know better.

    When I first heard of this event at Borough Council all I heard was our Chamber is helping an out of state, animal rights organization.

    There was no mention of length of street closure or parameters of same, my main concern.

    A photo contest for poodles dressed as Miley Cyrus, posing with drag queens for fund raising while we the business privilege tax payers get hosed.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if charity began at home, starting with our business’ right here and then it a PA charity (preferable human).

    Instead it is an attempt for some to feel good about themselves, sacrifice without consequences, yet disregard the shops here.

    An hour long event on a weeknight would have been a more kind choice.

    I first heard of the closure length through Chamber mgt and was told 3 hours.

    While ridiculously long I said nothing only to see the Chamber flyer tout a block closure of FIVE HOURS?

    This year sensible expeditious events with street closure are now a thing of the past.

    The big lie, “we do it to Lure business up your block”.

    The truth you do it to fund and / or push an agenda at our streets expense.

    New Hope Chamber, You Do Not Speak For Me!

    -Greg @ T.D.M.

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