Families will turn off Fridays

What a shame to put an end to a great family event. Because that's what will happen if the Charlottesville Downtown Foundation starts charging admission and banning food from anyone other than vendors at the concerts [News, "Freebie no more," March 13] (http://www.readthehook.com/93178/news-freebie-no-more-fridays-after-5-ey...).

Also, they have to consider families with kids who eat Cheerios, carrots, cheese sticks.... Are they going to ban kids' snacks?

I do understand the cooler issue to a point. I assure you it will end a large number of families traveling to the Downtown Mall on Fridays. When you start booking "national" names, the crowd gets larger and younger.

And no, our youth do not spoil a good family outing, but it becomes a parking, safety, and crowd control issue. Families with babies and small children will stay home on the deck and hang out with neighbors, not spend money to worry that if they lose sight of their five-year-old for a second, it may turn into hours! I feel fairly safe letting my kids walk a few steps in front of my husband and me, but wouldn't if the crowds were really big.

Also, the bigger bands will bring people from further away, and that makes me uneasy as well. If I wanted to see a "concert," I'd get a sitter and go to a live performance at a large arena, not try and cram in with who knows how many people in a small amphitheater. I might add, I enjoy the local talent more than a national band. There is so much talent here in town and surrounding areas. Why on earth would you take time away from them?

On a final note, I think CDF is making a huge mistake with this, and they are getting into a situation that may bite them in the end. I'm sad that they will be taking away a great family outing if they implement these changes.

Karen Denton Strayer
Charlottesville
kdstrayer@adelphia.net