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Published July 12, 2009, 12:00 AM

Street Fair to feature new faces

No shortage of vendors for this week’s event
Organizers of this year’s Fargo Street Fair are expecting a familiar crowd, as well as the customary variety of art, entertainment and eats.

By: Heidi Shaffer, INFORUM

Organizers of this year’s Fargo Street Fair are expecting a familiar crowd, as well as the customary variety of art, entertainment and eats.

But visitors also can expect to see some new faces inside the booths and on the Broadway storefronts, said Dave Anderson, president of the Downtown Community Partnership which hosts the event.

Booth reservations filled up with vendors from both near and far, but this year’s applications were especially competitive, said Stephanie Holland, street fair event coordinator.

After a careful selection process, Holland said the fair had to turn away about 300 artists.

“I kind of was nervous that we weren’t going to even have enough artists because of the economy,” Holland said. “That just definitely was not the case.”

The fair, which runs from Thursday to Saturday, will feature 207 artists and crafters, along with more than 30 food vendors.

For the first time in several years, visitors will not have to contend with construction.

“This is a good year to really take a look around. There are projects that are completing that are really changing the face of downtown,” Anderson said, referring to renovated storefronts on the 100 block of Broadway and the new 300 Broadway building next to the Fargo Theatre.

Broadway businesses are also gearing up for the downtown crowds.

“We’ve tried to open it up to a complete downtown event,” Anderson said. “We encourage the stores to come out on the sidewalk.”

Sue Kuhn, owner of Bouclé, opened her yarn and textile store two years ago on the first day of the street fair.

“We just look at it as a lot of fun,” Kuhn said.

Jason Overland, owner of Beyond Running is preparing for the store’s second street fair.

“It’s a tremendous increase in traffic,” he said.

The fair drew about 120,000 visitors last year, and Anderson expects the same number this year “if the weather cooperates.”

If you go

  • What: Fargo Street Fair
  • When: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday
  • Where: Booths will be set up on Broadway from Main Avenue to Sixth Avenue North.
  • Info: The event is free. For more information, visit www.fmdowntown.com.

Tips on attending street fair

Dave Anderson, president of the Downtown Community Partnership, offered advice on how visitors can make the most of the street fair:

  • Take the bus or carpool: Metro Area Transit is offering $1 rides to and from the fair.
  • Know where to park: Parking is available in the Civic Center lot, Island Park ramp, Main Avenue ramp and many of the other lots and streets surrounding downtown, Anderson said.
  • Consider leaving pets at home for the safety of others and the animals: “If it turns hot, it seems that the pets are particularly uncomfortable,” Anderson said.
  • Stay hydrated: Hot weather has coincided with the fair in past years, so staying hydrated is especially important. “There will be lots of places to get water and beverages up and down the street,” he said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Heidi Shaffer at (701) 241-5504