Chamber, Mystic merchants resolve differences over food festivals

The Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Mystic Merchants, which had announced competing events this fall, are now instead working together, the two groups said Friday.

The merchants group will hold Mystic Eats on Cottrell Street on Sept. 6-8, and the chamber will hold the Taste of Mystic at its new location in Olde Mistick Village in June of 2015.

The chamber had announced in February that it would cancel the Taste, which attracts about 40,000 people on the weekend after Labor Day and has been held downtown for at least the past decade. The chamber cited logistical concerns as the issue.

When merchants heard this, they began planning Mystic Eats. But in March, the chamber reinstituted the Taste and signed a three-year contract to hold it in Olde Mistick Village outside the downtown. The prospect of two festivals the same weekend had incensed some merchants.

"Our mission is to enhance business and prosperity in our area," Tricia Walsh, chamber president, said in a statement Friday. "Both of our organizations share the same goals. We are all here to add to the quality of life of this area and promote Greater Mystic as a destination with much to see and do."

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