By Rosemary K. Otzman
On Saturday, Oct. 12, after Harvest Fest is over in downtown Belleville, 80 women dressed as witches will begin arriving for the second-annual “Witch Fest” that begins on the Fourth Street Square.
At Monday’s meeting, the Belleville City Council approved a last-minute request by Egan’s Pub to host the private event, as long as it gets the temporary special-use outside serving license it expects from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission.
The private event involves four women each inviting 20 other women, ending up with 80, to go on a private bus excursion of unknown destination.
Jennifer Winter of Egan’s said last year the witches didn’t even all get off the bus at 12 Oaks Mall before they created a sensation.
Egan’s said they will put up a barricade of hay bales to block off the area from the general public, which will blend in with the Harvest Fest décor of the city. They will use temporary gating from the pub’s entrance to the hay bales in the Fourth Street Square.
Egan’s staff will be outside to make sure all alcohol and food stay inside the designated area.
All the witches will be of legal drinking age and there will be no minors present. The event starts at 5:30 p.m., when alcohol and food will be served, and ends as 6:30 p.m., when the witches board their private bus to start their excursion.
The area will then be dismantled and returned to its original state.
Councilwoman Kim Tindall said she wanted to talk to them after the meeting to find out how she could get invited.
In other business at Monday’s meeting, the council:
• Held the first reading of a zoning ordinance amendment that would add restaurants to the principal permitted uses in the B-1 district. City Manager Diane Kollmeyer said the planning commission held a public hearing on the change and recommended approval by the council;
• Approved fireworks for the Winter Fest on Dec. 7. At about 7 p.m., after the Winter Fest parade, Colonial Fireworks will shoot off from the Denton Road bridge 192 three-inch aerial display shells, 84 four-inch display shells, and six multiple shot, barrage-type items. Belleville and Van Buren Township fire fighters will stand by at the site;
• Approved the Jingle Bell Run for Winter Fest, this year benefitting the Van Buren Public Schools Education Foundation. The run will begin at 9:45 a.m., Dec. 7, at the Horizon Park Gazebo and proceed along High Street, north along Main Street, and onto Denton Road and then back;
• Deferred action on the Winter Fest Parade, “A Hawaiian Christmas,” until Randy Brown from the Chamber of Commerce could fill out a formal request with details on street closing requests. The request is expected to be on the city council’s Oct. 21 agenda;
• Approved free hayrides at The Lunch Box from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. after trick or treating in downtown Belleville on Halloween, Oct. 31. The hayride will board at The Lunch Box and the tractor will pull the wagon down North Liberty Street to First Street and then back up Main Street to The Lunch Box. The council agreed to take parking off the side of Liberty Street opposite the lake to make way for the event. The wagon and driver are from the Wayne County Fairgrounds. Safety issues were discussed;
• Approved the second change order for Insituform Technologies USA for the Cured-in-Place Pipe Program that increases the total price by $4,018. Now at $158,718.80, the total price still is below the budgeted $175,000, said Keith Boc, DPW Director;
• Approved accounts payable of $335,127.63 and the following departmental purchases over $500: to Hennessey Engineers, $1,961 for site plan review, from Trust/Escrow, and $35,509 for the S-2 Grant Administration from the Water Dept. budget; to Hydrodesign, $5,405 for inspections, from the Water Dept.; and to Insituform, $18,699.32 for sewer lining, from the Water Dept.;
• Heard Councilman Tindall comment that she was glad to see the police reserves got paid — in October for their Strawberry Fest work in June. Thirteen reserves were on the list with payments from $102 to $600 each. Tom Fielder, president of the Strawberry Festival, said the festival settled that up in July. City Manager Kollmeyer explained the delay was “due to a miscommunication between the police chief and myself”; and
• Heard Kollmeyer announce that 18 decorated scarecrows had been put up along Main Street earlier that day.
By Rosemary K. Otzman