A rather subdued “Ladies & Gents Night Out” returned to Magnolia Park in Burbank last Friday night after taking a break around the holidays. Several of the retailers who normally participate did not open their doors for the event, which runs from 6-9 p.m. Pinup Girl Boutique passed this time, but had a sign in the storefront saying it would return in February. Also, it was hard not to notice the smaller crowds, fewer food trucks, and only a handful of musicians and vendors on the sidewalks.
The weather, unseasonably mild, was not to blame. Perhaps, it was reaction to the new guidelines.
As reported here, the Magnolia Park Merchants Association sent out new guidelines for the event earlier last month. The major changes: no vendors or exhibitors on sidewalks and food trucks would be restricted to two per-block between Hollywood Way and Catalina Street on Magnolia Boulevard. The changes reportedly were made to alleviate blockage and crowding on the sidewalks. The association claims the Burbank Police considers it “a safety issue.”
However, some of the rules were not strictly enforced. Burbank Police Officer, Dan Turpin, walked the beat at “Ladies & Gents Night Out” for the first time. Officer Turpin told me he used “individual officer discretion” when it came to the sidewalk vendors. If “a wheelchair” could navigate past the vendor table and there were no complaints, then he would not shut down the operation.
Officer Turpin took a tougher stance with the food trucks. He ordered a food truck owner, without the proper licenses, to remove her vehicle from Magnolia Boulevard. Overall, he says the goal is for “everyone to have a good time.”
Rita Boccuzzi, motivational speaker and financial guru, was out shopping on Magnolia Boulevard last Friday night. Boccuzzi says the “energy ” level was down and “everyone was gone by nine.” Also, she says she heard complaints about the distance folks had to walk to visit all the food trucks. Boccuzzi, who has participated at the event as a table vendor, says there should be “more tables and musicians set up in areas that are appropriate.”
Hopefully, a happy medium can be found between safety and the elements that bring excitement and crowds to “Ladies & Gents Night Out” in Magnolia Park.