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Echo Press Editorial: A party to remember - and repeat

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opinion Alexandria, 56308
Echo Press
(320) 763-3258 customer support
Alexandria Minnesota 225 7th Ave E
P.O. Box 549
56308

Alexandria has had good community celebrations in the past and now there’s a new one to add to the list: Party in the Street.

It took place last Friday on Broadway, between Fourth and Sixth Avenue, for a variety of reasons: 1. To celebrate the near completion of the first two phases of the Broadway reconstruction project. 2. To showcase downtown’s new look, which includes new colored sidewalks, planters, street lights, benches and other pedestrian friendly touches. 3. To provide a good time for all ages.

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The event did all that, and more.

Kids had a blast playing in the inflatable bouncy houses. Vintage car enthusiasts reminisced about restored vehicles from bygone eras at a car show. There was music to bop to, courtesy of the Jefferson High School Jazz Band, Third Line and Nasty Habit. The Viking Curling Club’s bean bag tournament added some fun competition. There was plenty of food to munch on and beer for the adults.

Estimating the size of the crowd was tricky because it ebbed and flowed throughout the day but organizers estimated more than 2,500 attended.

The Downtown Merchants Association and all the local businesses that had a hand in the celebration deserve a “thumbs up” for making Alexandria the place to be on August 1.

Because the event was so much fun, there’s already talk of doing it again. In fact, Alexandria Mayor Sara Carlson said she could walk only a few steps at the party before someone would come up to her and say, “We’ve got to have this again next year.”

Closing down a state highway for the celebration was considered a once-in-a-lifetime event that was made possible because the busy road was closed at Sixth Avenue due to the construction.

But why not make it an annual affair? It’s clear that local residents and visitors love this kind of lively summer fun. It helps our downtown businesses, adds to Alexandria’s allure as a summer hot spot and brings everyone together for a celebration to remember.

An even bigger portion of Broadway is closed for the Vikingland Band Festival so barricading off a couple of blocks for another “Party in the Street” wouldn’t be unprecedented.

Let’s do it all again in 2015.

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