Al Beauparlant oversees work on the Arch of Triumph in Monument Square Tuesday evening. (Photo/Ernest A. Brown)
WOONSOCKET â€“ Several downtown streets will be closed at 4 p.m. Thursday for the cityâ€™s Main Street Block Party.
Thousands of people are expected at the free community event, which will stretch a half-mile through downtown.
The city says the following road closures will be in effect from 4 p.m. to midnight:
* Church Street to Boyden Street to Main Street (local access only).
* Cato Street to Boyden Street to Main Street (local access only).
* Cherry Street.
* James Street.
* Railroad Street to Arnold Street to Main Street (local access only).
* High Street to Arnold Street to Depot Street (two-way for local residents only).
* Ascension Street to Fountain Street to Main Street (two-way for local residents only).
* Federal Street to Main Street to Worrell Street (two-way from Worrell to access YMCA lots only).
* Main Street to Monument Square to Market Square.
Capt. Michael Lemoine, the Woonsocket Police Departmentâ€™s uniform division commander, said there are no parking restrictions on any other street â€śas long as people are mindful of not blocking driveways or parking in front of fire hydrants,â€ť he said.
Lemoine is also asking drivers to be alert for pedestrian traffic throughout the night.
Also, there will be no bikes, skateboards or dogs allowed at the block party, and attendees are being asked by police and block party organizers to refrain from bringing coolers and backpacks.
Lemoine said in addition to its regular patrol shift, the Police Department will have 20 additional officers on duty for the block party.
â€śThis is a monumental task. In 1988 (Woonsocketâ€™s centennial celebration), we only had to shut down half of Main Street. Tomorrowâ€™s event is three times larger,â€ť said Albert G. Beauparlant, Jr., co-chairman of the event. â€śWeâ€™ve never done anything like this before and I have lots of faith in the men and women of the Woonsocket Police Department who are up to the task and will keep the event safe and organized.â€ť
In celebration of Woonsocketâ€™s 125th birthday, the Main Street Block Party is being billed as the biggest block party on the East Coast, with a dozen entertainment stages that will stretch for a half-mile through downtown. The event, spearheaded by Mayor Leo T. Fontaine and a dedicated band of volunteers, will also feature a variety of musical entertainment, artists, car shows, motorcycle shows, military shows, concessions, food tents such as Taste of Woonsocket, kids' amusements and ethnic foods.
And when it comes to the food, there will be lots of it something for just about every palate.
The Taste of Woonsocket tent will have delicious offerings from more than a dozen city restaurants, including Cheloâ€™s Hometown Bar and Grille, Saviniâ€™s Restaurant, Ciroâ€™s Tavern, Christopherâ€™s, Park Ave. Pizza, Buggâ€™d Outt BBQ, Câ€™est Bon Home Style Bakery and CafĂ©, Broaster House, Castle Luncheonette, Vintage Restaurant and Momâ€™s Home Cooking.
There will also be a variety of food trucks parked throughout the downtown area, including Palagiâ€™s Ice Cream, Alien Ice Cream, Like No Udder, Latin Flavor, Buggâ€™d Outt BBQ, Big Freezy Shaved Ice, and Underdogs.
In addition, restaurants all along Main Street will be open for business, many of them with outdoor Federal Hill-style seating.
Arts and crafts vendors, who will be set up in a centralized location between Chanâ€™s Fine Oriental Dining and the Stadium Theatre, will include Blue Dragonfly Candles, Paparazzi by Michelle, Kirsten Webb Dreamcatchers, Sue Shaw Handmade Jewelry, My Magical Emporium, Frolicking Goddess Craft Studio, The Opulent Squid, Yens Jewelry and Crafts, Duck Cove Creations, L&G Country Crafts, Triple Tâ€™s Gift Shop, The Gym, Athenaâ€™s, Ultimate Rays Tanning Spa, Victorian Rose and Andy Namerow Novelties.
â€śWeâ€™ve done so well with the fundraising for the block party that we are not charging any Woonsocket-based crafters fees, nor are we charging setup fees for any of the restaurants,â€ť Beauparlant said.