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BELFAST, Maine — Just a few months ago, the fate of the Belfast Street Party looked uncertain after its longtime sponsor announced that it would not be involved this year.
But after community volunteers rallied to organize the popular event and the city of Belfast agreed to support it financially, the street party is a go for the evening of Monday, Aug. 5. And it’s going to be great, according to the people who are working to make it happen.
“The street party is alive and well,” said Breanna Pinkham Bebb, one of the organizers. “There’s a lot of great things that happen in Belfast throughout the year, but not everything is free or affordable. The mission of the street party is to provide something that’s accessible to as many people as it can be.”
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the party, which generally draws thousands of people to High Street. They come for the rides, bounce houses, food vendors, face painting, live music and more.
“This is the event of the year for kids,” said Belfast City Councilor Mike Hurley, who helped found the party and who worked to make sure it continued this year. “But it’s also kind of a reunion. You see people who are here for the summer. It’s really a great event for people to walk around and chat up their neighbors.”
After longtime sponsor Our Town Belfast decided in April it was dropping the party from its to-do list, the Belfast City Council voted to contribute up to $7,000 to the event. Hurley said that the city will end up spending less because attendees who want to go on the rides will need to buy a bracelet, and that will offset the cost. Bracelets will be just $10 this year, half of what they cost last year, and the bounce house will be free.
“We wanted to make everything more affordable,” Bebb said.
This year’s party will feature a theme of Woodstock’s 50th anniversary. Attendees are invited to don their finest tie dye, fringe, smiley face patch and flower power wear, and kids can participate in a 6 p.m. parade to show off their “cool hippie costumes,” she said. Also new this year is a collaborative art project organized by Bridget Matros of Waterfall Arts, but back will be local bands Captain Obvious and Don Nickerson and Country Mist.
“Our hope is that it’ll be just as successful, if not more so, as it has been in the past,” Bebb said. “We hope the response is big and people show up, just as they have always done.”
The Belfast Street Party will take place from 5 to 10 p.m. Monday, Aug. 5 on High Street.