Several summer events are just around the corner in downtown Lawrence.
"I can't wait to get them going," said Jane Pennington, director of Downtown Lawrence Inc.
One of the first events is the Downtown Lawrence Film Festival that kicks off on Thursday.
"I'm really anxious for the first film; it's going to be a lot of fun," Pennington said.
First in the series of black and white classics is "The Maltese Falcon." Before each of the five films will be live music at 8 p.m. on the lawn north of the downtown parking garage at Ninth and New Hampshire streets. The classic film noir movies begin at 9:15 p.m. with free popcorn and prize drawings.
The June 19 film is "Notorious"; "The Postman Always Rings Twice" is July 3; "Key Largo" is Aug. 7; and "Dark Command" is Aug. 21.
Also starting Thursday is the Brown Bag Concert Series. Every Thursday at noon people are invited to eat their lunch and listen to live music outside US Bank at the corner of Ninth and Massachusetts Streets. The first concert is the Billy Spears Beer Bellies. In case of rain, the alternate location is the Watkins Community Museum of History, 1047 Mass.
Lawrence City Band concerts have already begun for the season. The band will play at 8 p.m. every Wednesday night through July 16 at South Park, 1141 Mass. Concerts are free to the public.
Downtown walking tours
New this summer are the Saturday morning Historic Downtown Walking Tours, which begin this Saturday. Tours will be led by students in the Kansas University School of Architecture program.
"We've been doing dress rehearsals for the tours," Pennington said. "I'm looking forward to that. It's looking like our June tours are still going to be works in progress, but people are welcome to join in and provide feedback to help us shape them."
The walking tours will begin at 9 a.m. at the Lawrence Farmers' Market near Eighth and New Hampshire streets. Tours will cost $10 per person, and children 12 and under are free. Tours will continue until Oct. 25. Advance reservations can be made by calling 842-3883.
Next week, the Parks and Recreation Department will host a unique Chinese acrobatic performance in South Park.
"We're looking at it as a kickoff to summer," said Roger Steinbrock of Parks and Recreation.
He said the event was "just one of those things that happened and fell in our laps."
The department was contacted by the Bureau of Lectures and Concert Artists Inc. about a troupe of Chinese acrobats that has been touring the country. On their return trip, the acrobats arranged to stop in Lawrence.
The team will perform twice on June 11. At 1 p.m. the team will perform on the west side of South Park, and at 6:30 p.m. it will perform on the east side of the park near the William Kelly Bandstand.
The performers will show off various talents from balancing objects and spinning plates to juggling atop a unicycle. Interpreters will share facts about Chinese culture and customs.
Not so much fun
While entertainment is on the agenda, so is road work on Massachusetts Street.
Beginning Wednesday, milling will start on the street from Sixth Street to North Park Street. Massachusetts Street will remain open to the public, but the road surface will be rough.
In addition, two-block sections of Massachusetts Street will be closed to traffic for surface repaving. Weather permitting, Massachusetts from Sixth to Eighth streets will be closed June 9 until about June 13. If there are no weather delays, the closure of Massachusetts Street from Eighth to 10th streets will occur June 16-20. The Ninth Street intersection will remain open to traffic during the project.
The last section to close, Massachusetts Street from 10th Street to North Park, is scheduled for June 23-27, weather permitting.
Sidewalks will remain open during construction. Mid-block crosswalks will be closed during paving.