Run extended for street performers

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SANDPOINT — Jugglers, musicians and other street performers are free to show off for another six months — as long as it’s OK with the neighbors.

In the only act of official business at the regular Wednesday meeting outside of the consent calendar and an executive session regarding potential litigation, city council members authorized another six months allowing artists to perform on Sandpoint streets. All they have to do is obtain permission from any neighboring businesses and make sure their act doesn’t conflict with any permitted events.

The decision is a follow-up to a council meeting last July in which members approved street performances in the downtown Sandpoint area. The hope was that such performances would add vibrancy and fun to the downtown core, but some were concerned performers could become a nuisance for businesses. That prompted council members to revisit the issue.  

According to Councilman Aaron Qualls, his discussions with the Downtown Sandpoint Business Association didn’t turn up any problematic behavior. In fact, there were relatively few instances of individuals conducting street performances, and those who did pop up generally received positive response from downtown visitors and business owners.

Interim police chief Corey Coon backed up that assessment. He said he hadn’t heard of any problems arising between performers and business owners, nor was he aware of any performers violating the conditions set by the council’s July decision.

Based on the relative lack of information or reports, council members decided unanimously to give street performers another six months. They can always return to the issue sooner than that to remove permission or add new conditions if any problems arise. Based on that fact, anyone wishing to put on a streetside show should probably remember to be a friendly neighbor.

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