It's party time in Amherst

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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Downtown street party returns Friday

Downtown Amherst will be the place to be on Friday with second downtown street party, featuring vendors, children's activites and music in Victoria Square

Michele LeBlanc (left) and Tamara Porter of the Downtown Business Advisory Committee’s festivals and events sub-committee look over plans for Friday’s Downtown Amherst Street Party. 

AMHERST  – If last year’s inaugural event was any indication, this year’s Downtown Amherst Street Party should be a resounding success.

Victoria and Church streets will be the place to be on Friday when the business community hosts its second street party with festivities beginning at 11 a.m. and continuing late in the evening with vendors, the popular kids zone and entertainment in Victoria Square.

“We’re ready to go and looking forward to quite a party,” event co-chairwoman Michele LeBlanc said. “It’s going to be tough to beat what took place last year, but we’re up for the challenge. We have a great committee working to put together the best party we can. There’s going to be something here for everyone to enjoy.”

Organized by the Downtown Amherst Business Advisory Committee’s festivals and events sub-committee, the street party kicks off with the opening of the food and craft vendors on both Victoria and Church streets.

“We’re building on last year and next year we will build on this year,” LeBlanc said. “We reflected on the lessons learned last year and the good things we heard about last year and the changes the public and the downtown merchants suggested we make this year. “

The chili challenge, won last year by Scotiabank, is back this year while the kids zone runs from 1 to 6 p.m. and will be held on Victoria Street, as opposed to King Street – where it was located during the Blueberry Harvest Festival back in August.

Some of the attractions for the street party are the Pirates of the Caribbean and Sea Adventure inflatables and the Halloween tent.

Horse rides with Maltby Stables, street hockey with the ARHS Vikings hockey team and the Gallery 8 Fall Mini-Shoot begin at 3 p.m.

The Cumberland Public Libraries is hosting a puppet show from 4 to 6 p.m. and the always popular Shrine clowns and balloon animals will also be there.

Other events include floppy rabbits, wagon rides and the 4-H woodsman competition from 7 to 8 p.m.

Entertainment begins at noon in Victoria Square, featuring Harry Haynes (12 p.m.), Michelle LeBlanc (1 p.m.), Mike Blakeney (2 p.m.), Tony and Susan Robichaud (3 p.m.), Taken By Surprise (4 p.m.), Lenny Crash and the Restoration (5 p.m.), DC Smith & The Streamliners (7 p.m.) and Old School (9 a.m.).

“One of our goals with the entertainment was to offer as much variety as we could,” co-organizer Tamara Porter said.

The beer tent, which was very popular last year, is returning this time and will open at 7 p.m.

There will also be more than 24 vendors along both Church and Victoria.

LeBlanc said the street party, along with other events, helps celebrate the downtown and builds on the sense of community.

LeBlanc also credited the town for its support of the business advisory committee and its festivals and events sub-committee.

The third Downtown Artisans Market of the year will take place on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with artists and vendors showcasing their talents in front of downtown merchants.

 

Organizations: Victoria and Church, Downtown Amherst Street Party, Downtown Amherst Business Advisory Committee Scotiabank Cumberland Public Libraries Smith The Streamliners

Geographic location: Amherst, Victoria Square, Victoria Street King Street Caribbean

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