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      Business owners say move Tanyard Garden

      The parking lot where Tanyard Garden is usually held.

      Historic district business owners asked Hannibal's city council on Tuesday to move an event held during National Tom Sawyer Days.

      "Our experience last year was that the weekend business prior to the fourth of July was non-existent," said Michael Ginsberg.

      Michael Ginsberg is owner of Lula Belle's Restaurant & Bed & Breakfast in Hannibal's historic district. On a typical summer night he serves between 100 and 150 people, but last year the weekend before Tom Sawyer Days, his business hit a low...and he blames it on the lack of parking.

      "What that does is eliminates any parking opportunities that anybody coming downtown has during the day," said Ginsberg.

      The parking lot across the street from Lula Belle's is used during Tom Sawyer Days to house Tanyard Garden, where adult music and entertainment takes place. The lot is typically closed days before the festival leaving customers that shop in the district few places to park and hurting walk-through traffic.

      "There's no reason why in my mind they can't move Tanyard Garden to Nipper Park or Kiwanis Park," said Mike O'Cheltree, owner of Native American Trading Company and Gallery.

      For the last three years the Tanyard Garden has been held in the parking lot because of flood concerns. Many business owners say that with no flood warning this year it could have been held at a location outside the flood wall, but organizers of the event see a different picture.

      "We've got to have something solid to go on," said Chris Harsell, Hannibal Jaycees president. "We can't take a chance because we could get a foot of rain in June and then what?"

      Still business owners are hopeful that the Jaycees will look into their concerns.

      "I think that they could take a hint and listen to maybe listen to some other voices," said O'Cheltree.