Archive for Monday, April 5, 2010

Outside group looking to bring ‘college carnival’ to Eighth Street downtown

The Lawrence city commission will vote Tuesday on whether to allow Eighth Street party on April 19. The street would be closed from 9 a.m. until midnight and would hold a college carnival event.

April 5, 2010


Reader poll
Do you support the city of Lawrence closing Eighth Street between Mass. and N.H streets for block parties and other events?

or See the results without voting


A downtown side street may take center stage later this month.

A South Carolina-based marketing company is seeking to close down Eighth Street from Massachusetts to New Hampshire streets on April 19 for a “college carnival.”

According to applications filed with the city, the event would include at least two bands and several carnival booths, such as strong man stands, photo booths and putting greens.

City commissioners will consider approving the event at their 6:35 p.m. meeting on Tuesday at City Hall.

The event continues a trend of tapping Eighth Street as a site for street parties. The Lawrence Chamber of Commerce has used the block to host two Get Downtown Events, and The Sandbar recently used the street for a party celebrating the bar’s anniversary.

Now some businesses are considering seeking approval in May for another block party event, said Austin Sinkler, manager of Richard’s Music Co., 15 E. Eighth St.

“We think they are really good ideas,” Sinkler said. “It is really a nice way to get the side streets a little bit more interest.”

Details on this most recent event proposal weren’t clear. Attempts to reach the promoter, BFG Communications, were not successful.

City Clerk Jonathan Douglass said he’s been told the event will be free to enter. According to information submitted to the city, the event is part of a national tour of college communities, being sponsored by Turner Broadcasting and Superfly promotions, a music group that produces the popular Bonnaroo festival.

Plans call for the street to close at 9 a.m. for set-up, but the event would not begin until 6:30 p.m. The live music would last until 9:30 p.m. The street would reopen at midnight after clean-up is completed.

Douglass said the promoters have not asked for permission to sell or allow alcohol on the city street or sidewalks. City staff members are recommending approval of the request, pending the submittal of more detailed plans.

Douglass said the promoters originally had planned to have the event in private parking lot, but sought to move it downtown after those plans fell through.


nobody1793 8 years ago

Aren't there any Kansas carnies that could do this? Why give our money to south carolinians?

lilyanne 8 years ago

I think it is a great idea. Anything to bring the community together and spotlight Lawrence can't be negative!!

parrothead8 8 years ago

Why allow a bunch of out-of-state snake-oil salesmen to come in and leave with our money? Isn't this something Lawrence could do by itself?

ilovelucy 8 years ago

Maybe you would like to volunteer parrot? Just curious...

Adrienne Sanders 8 years ago

I'm wary about the fact that they're billing it as a "college" carnival.... so it's not for you if you're not in college?

Stuart Evans 8 years ago

I think that entire block would make a great open air pedestrian mall. Live music, outdoor eating/drinking, etc. They could partially cover the block to make it a little less prone to sun and rain.

BorderRuffian 8 years ago

Hey!!! Why not take it outside of town to a park-like area where everyone could just sprawl out. Maybe, even, near one of the local lakes. Hey!!!!! We could even name it something clever like "Walker-Russa" in honor of the two late 1600's explorers who discovered the first reported patch of K-Weed and learned from the indigenous folk how to hybridize it and partake of its virtues in mystic gatherings.

Wouldn't this be a lot better than disturbing the panhandlers and homeless folk who live near the downtown area?

Joe Hyde 8 years ago

Sounds like a good idea to me. If the event flies the first time relatively problem-free, then look at doing it again using local or regional organizers. More bands, gotta have more bands.

An event like this, held at the stated location, will be good for all the "side street" businesses along Mass., but of course especially those facing the 100 block of E. 8th St. The Mirth cafe, Richard's Music and Sunflower are my favorites that will benefit greatly. And that's good; anything that encourages drinking good coffee, using music instruments, and outdoor and bike gear is good for Lawrence.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.