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Skating, Music Proposed for New Canaan Flex Space

NEW CANAAN, Conn. – Interested in going ice skating or taking in a musical performance in downtown New Canaan? You may soon have the chance and the place to do it.

The New Canaan Chamber of Commerce wants to use a portion of South Avenue near Elm Street and the Morse Court parking area for flexible space for entertainment and activities.

The space would serve as a place to host short-term events for the town, which does not have a true “town green” where locals congregate, chamber Executive Director Tucker Murphy said. The project would bring more activities to the downtown area as well as stir foot traffic to the main shopping district, she said. If the chamber gets all the necessary approvals, events could begin in late June.

A committee is developing ideas for what could take place, Murphy said. But some suggestions include an outdoor dinner setup with tables, chairs and umbrellas; performances by the School of Rock or the New Canaan Dance Academy; and a Zumba for a Cause event.

The concept has been well received by several town boards, including the Board of Selectmen and the Planning and Zoning Commission. “The whole gist is to have a place where the town can come together,” Murphy said. “It’s a perfect spot, and we’re really encouraged with the reception we’ve gotten. A lot of people have said it should be a nice initiative.”

Also, a temporary synthetic skating rink could be built there, something that’s been done in other towns, including New London and Westerly, R.I. The chamber probably would bring in the ice rink in the winter, Murphy said. Any events in the flex space would work to complement other activities, she said.

First Selectman Robert Mallozzi III said he’s excited about making flexible space downtown. “I like the idea of doing different things in that space,” adding that he was interested in a temporary ice rink. “If it happens, I’m going skating,” Mallozzi said.

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