BELFAST, Maine — A section of downtown will be closed to traffic next Monday for the first Belfast street party.
High and Beaver streets will be closed from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday, Aug. 17, to make room for revelers and party participants. There will be food, games, entertainment, kiddie rides and other surprises during the Belfast Downtown Business Group-sponsored event.
A strolling accordionist will be joined on the streets by mimes. A climbing wall and bounce house also will be part of the fun.
The rock band Sistaliscious and a Michael Jackson tribute by Courtney Porter and her dance class will take the stage in front of the Belfast Co-op. Live music also will be available across High Street at Club 132. There will be kiddie rides from Fiesta Shows, a putting contest and carnival games.
The night will be capped off when the Drum and Rabble Society leads a raucous parade down to the waterfront for a campfire. Free marshmallows will be available.
“The business wants to have events and this is sort of based on Houlton’s Midnight Madness. I’ve seen it and it’s great,” said business group member Michael Hurley, owner of the Temple Theater in Houlton and the Colonial Theatre in Belfast. “It’s just a way to celebrate the approaching back-to-school season.”
Hurley said the event was scheduled for Monday because it was easier to attract bands and other performers that already might be booked for the weekends. He said that many downtown merchants will remain open that night and participate in the fun.
“A lot of these things will be happening in shops all over the downtown, so people will have to move around to enjoy all the fun,” he said. “We’re counting on a lot of energy in the streets that night.”
He said that Scoops on lower Main Street will hold a team ice cream eating contest throughout the night.
Coburn Shoe Store will hold a “nastiest old shoe” event where contestants will bring in their old shoes and the person with “the nastiest” will win a pair of new shoes, Hurley said.
The Game Store will lead a participatory game, Parent and Indigo Galleries will have prizes, the Belfast Farmers Market will have eight booths with educational and informational twists, the Green Store will have a scavenger hunt, and Beyond the Sea will offer a marinade sampling. Music will play throughout the night.
Disc jockeys Matt Bixby and Dennis Howard will share double DJ dance music duty all night long. The All Comers Band will hold a country dance.
“It’s a street party in its first year, and we’re trying to pile on a lot of stuff and make a lot of stuff happen,” Hurley said. “We’re inviting the state to a big party and we’re hoping people come from all over. This event is being organized to benefit no one and everyone. Everyone is invited, so catch up on your sleep.”