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New policy restricts vendors on Main St. during parades


TOWNSEND — Several local businesses have signs saying “no soliciting,” but a new policy approved by the Board of Selectmen will take that warning one step further.

Interest in approving the new policy arose while the 275th Parade Committee was planning their Sept. 23 event.

The committee wants to have sponsors and charge fees to vendors, and they worried that without an enforceable policy, outside vendors would drastically cut profits.

275th Anniversary Committee member John Funaiole found a policy for outdoor vendors used in Marlborough and modified to fit Townsend’s needs.

His draft went through multiple revisions; first by the administrative assistant then the town administrator and town counsel.

Once the written policy was completed, it was presented to the Board of Selectmen, who approved it after discussing the issue with police Chief Erving Marshall.

The new policy requires anyone who comes to Townsend with the purpose selling or bartering to receive a written license from the Board of Selectmen.

A vendor will be required to show the license when requested by anyone from the police department or a Board of Health agent.

Anyone who breaks the new policy could be fined $20 and asked to leave. Marshall said the fine matched what was enforceable by other towns and the state.

The new policy has other limitations as well.

Selling jewelry, furs, wines, spirituous liquors, small artificial flowers and miniature flags is prohibited.

Outdoor sales are not allowed from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. Sales are prohibited within 50 feet of a cemetery or war memorial.

Most applicable to the 275th Parade Committee is that the policy doesn’t allow vendors on any public way that has been closed by the Board of Selectmen, unless approved by the sponsoring organization.

In other words, a license and approval by the 275th Parade Committee is required to be a vendor during the Sept. 23 parade on Main Street.

Anyone interested in becoming a sponsor of the parade or being a vendor should contact Ed West at (978) 597-2456 for more information.

The new policy does not apply to yard, garage and sidewalk sales or to anyone participating in a public event sponsored or authorized by the town of Townsend.

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