Sunset Junction businesses revise plans


The city denied organizers a permit for this year's fair. There aren't any stages being built and none of the streets are closed.

It's a typical Friday in Silver Lake, and that in itself has people talking.

"A lot of the businesses, the bar for us, we order a lot of product," said Brandon Karrer, who manages the 4100 Bar.

Like many merchants, Karrer's dealing with the abrupt cancellation of this year's Sunset Junction, a 30-year-old tradition which normally draws thousands to the neighborhood north of downtown L.A.

"We do vendors, beer, alcohol," said Karrer. "And the problem is I had to cancel all of that this year."

Sunset Junction was cancelled after organizers were unable to pay the city for the cost of this year's permit. They also owed over $250,000 for the cost of last year's event.

While some residents are sorry to see it go, others say it could be a blessing in disguise.

"It was split, many people loved it and many people hated it," said Steve Melendrez, owner of the Living Room Furniture Store and a member of the Silver Lake Chamber Of Commerce. "It's not really a neighborhood festival any longer which is a shame."

Rather than focus on the negative, many of the merchants and businesses plan on keeping the original spirit of the festival alive this weekend.

"It's a community coming together and celebrating what the community is and does," said Jeff Castelaz, founder of Dangerbird Records. He is planning a small concert in the label's back patio.

"People are going to be able to come here and enjoy good music nonetheless," said Castelaz. "And all the stores will be able to stay open."

Other merchants are planning sidewalk sales and impromptu street performances.

"In a way it's still going to be a fun thing because people will come expecting Sunset Junction," said Silver Lake resident Laura Howe.

It would seem that the residents of Silver Lake know how to find a silver lining.

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