Our town businesses are suffering; now having an every-weekend, arts-and-crafts show/farmer’s market.

I’ve lived here for 38 years. My store was established 24 years ago. Just as things start to improve economically for town businesses, we have 30-plus vendors every weekend.

My business was built with blood, sweat and tears. I’m waiting for the good times, like all of us. I can’t survive this competition. We never could before either: The main show on 243; the other on North Circle.

Once this began, I noticed a slowing of traffic and income. Neighbors say the same. Some customers I’ve seen commented how many people there were. I said: “Where?” “On the highway.”

Weekly vendors need to go. I know vending. I was forced off our streets 33 years ago. I rented my first shop, becoming a store owner.

We are only able to keep our hard-earned businesses by paying monthly rent, etc. We do this year-round. We’ve earned the right to have a say in allowing this to happen or not. Yet, I promise you, none of the  “thoughtful people” promoting these venues ever came to us store owners to give us the consideration of asking our opinion. Because anyone in business here would say, “No.”

We are still a democracy. Put to a vote, I know we store owners would win. Only the promoters profit. Vendors hurt us and unknowingly compete with us for critical income. This is a volatile mix.

Generally, these vendors don’t put much back into our economy. Vendors’ booths detract from the serene beauty we all have struggled to maintain. When the good times come, we are in place. It’s our steadfastness that has made this little town great. I don’t feel anyone has the right to take it. Stop this from destroying our businesses.

Fact is, there’s simply insufficient tourist dollars to support it all. We should come first, anyway. Like waiting in line for “your” opportunity. Our first step is to sign a “Petition of Grievances” and present it to the powers that be locally and in Riverside County.

I say there’s no problem with vendors, but only three major weekends a year. That’s fair. These weekends have large numbers of tourists who could handle extra commerce. We can’t tolerate money-hungry promoters. We deserve these considerations having paid daily and dearly for that right. Please join this fight to preserve what we’ve all built.

 Mountain Mike “Allen”



  1. We tried very hard at the inception of the Lemon Lily Festival to include the town in the activities and benefit economically from them. It is in the Mission Statement. We tried each year to come up with something that businesses could rally around and support. After years of begging businesses to participate and spoon feeding them ideas it was decided that without leadership from the business community it was a futile effort. I can only speak for the Lemon Lily Festival, but I can assure you that it is not true that businesses and non profits were not consulted and included. If there is a way to benefit from our event let us know, but please do not try to shut it down.