November 14, 2013

Section of Congress St. to close for next Art Walk

The closure is designed to allow pedestrians to ‘walk freely and enjoy art and the splendor of the evening.’

By Randy Billings
Staff Writer

Next month, a half-mile stretch of Congress Street in Portland will be closed to traffic for the First Friday Art Walk – a monthly event that organizers say draws more then 3,000 people to downtown Portland.

On Dec. 6, Congress Street, from Brown Street to State Street, will be closed from 6-8 p.m. However, vehicles will not be allowed to park along that stretch from 4-8 p.m. Any vehicles parked on the roadway during those times will be towed.

The closure is designed to allow pedestrians to “walk freely and enjoy art and the splendor of the evening,” according to a press release from Portland’s Downtown District, a group that advocates for downtown businesses.

“This exciting first-time collaboration among local businesses, organizations and artists will add significantly to the creative energy and community feel that already permeates every Art Walk,” Jennifer Hutchins, executive director of Creative Portland, said in a written statement.

The newly formed Circus Conservatory of America, which is looking to establish the nation’s first accredited circus school at Thompson’s Point, will be performing at intersection of Congress and Park streets. Two 45-minute shows will begin at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.

If next month’s closure goes smoothly, Congress Street could be closed again in the future, Hutchins said.

Portland’s First Friday Art Walk – currently in its 12th year – is a free, self-guided tour of art galleries, studios, museums and art venues on the first Friday of every month.

Randy Billings can be contacted at 791-6346 or at:rbillings@pressherald.comTwitter: @randybillings
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