Saving Ghosts on the Coast

Published: Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 01:57 PM.

Barry Sellers, director of the Chamber of Commerce, declared that Ghost on the Coast was the first event in Port St. Joe that he participated in. He told me that the event showcases PSJ at its best; a family oriented event you don’t see in Memphis or other cities. He said that even if no one purchases anything that evening, they leave feeling very positive about our businesses and community.

Three different survey sheets were presented to signers. As of Monday, 24 merchants on Reid Avenue have signed supporting the Halloween event. With a much smaller business district, we will be asking everyone in the community to drop a couple of bags of candy by your favorite business or to Boyer Signs to be distributed. No one offered to sign the form that was not in favor of the event. Businesses not on Reid Avenue signed another form showing support and offering candy.

My third call was to Port St. Joe City Commissioner Bo Patterson, also a Reid Avenue merchant. Bo was appalled, asking why we would not do it, this is a tradition. He felt like there were not enough activities in PSJ for children.

We have a problem now in Port St. Joe. Our traditional events like Ghosts on the Coast, Christmas on the Coast and 4th of July do not have a home.

The TDC will assist with funding, but do not produce events and are bound by state statutes as to how their funds are dispersed. The Chamber of Commerce has endured huge budget cuts and has no staff. Its Scallop Festival helps fund the organization. A loosely knit merchants association has no charter, bank account or liability insurance. They still worked hard and we had a 4th of July to remember.

A volunteer events committee operating under the umbrella of one of the larger organizations could solve our problems. We need to work together and solve this problem for the good of our community. The politics of the situation do not matter.

The children in costumes trick or treating, having fun and laughing matter.

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