Neighborhood festivals are fun to go to. Who doesn’t like the carnival rides, the beer gardens, the smells from cooking different types of food, the vendors hawking their wares, the bands, and the crowds? I’ll tell you who, the people who actually live near the festival. Local festivals have become big business to cities across the nation. It is a way for the city to get some easy money. As more cities have found out about this lucrative way to make cash, the festivals have expanded. Cities add more food vendors, more drink vendors, more rides, and more music, until that quaint little one block party in the center of town impacts residents who are unlucky enough to live close to the center of town.
This is especially important if you are interested in purchasing the latest thing in suburbia, the luxury in-town condominiums. These expensive residences are popping up in those high-end suburbs that have transportation to the big city. This type of housing combines the best of living in the heart of a city, close to all the cultural activities, with the lower cost of living in the suburbs. Unfortunately the heart of the city may also be the place where the festival is staged.
For many residents in the festival towns, the annual event brings impossible traffic, limited access to your home by your own vehicle, trash and other unsavory items left on your lawn, vandalism, and incredible decibel-splitting noise. If you and your family love the festivals enough that you are willing to put up with the inconveniences, then a city or neighborhood with festivals may be the place for you.
Think about how your lifestyle would fit in this area. Do you work other than 9 to 5, five days a week? Festivals are usually placed on the weekends starting around noon and ending after 11:00 p.m. Do you need to access you car because you are in a profession which you can be on call at any time? It is not unusual in festival towns for streets and residents’ driveways to be blocked during the festival. Do you have family members who are light sleepers and would have problems sleeping with a loud rock band playing down the street? Are you willing to pick up after the festival goers leave their trash on your property?
Besides looking at your lifestyle, before you sign on to one of the festival towns, attend the event. At the event, take a look at the size of the festival and if a broad residential area is involved. If you see a resident, ask him or her how he or she enjoys the event.
Those cities that place their festivals in appropriate venues such as parks, open fields, convention centers, and places that have appropriate parking and do not infringe on the residential areas come out on top regarding desirability. Unfortunately, many cities or even neighborhoods think nothing of closing down entire blocks in residential areas in the race for the festival dollar. As the festivals have multiplied and grown in size, so have the number of people who do not find them a desirable feature.
One last comment on celebrations in the suburbs. Many people will select the quiet suburban town and decide to purchase that quaint home on one of the quieter main streets of the town, only to be surprised one morning by a parade. It is not unusual for a suburb to select a secondary street to be the town’s parade route. The new homeowner can wake up July 4th to several strangers with lawn chairs and picnic materials on his or her front lawn or sitting on his or her front steps. Parade routes are usually set for years and can be found out from the suburb and your real estate professional.