Closing a street for a block party is a common summertime affair.
But Main Street?
A major thoroughfare for tens of thousands of vehicles every day?
That’s right, Main Street – between Cayuga and Mill streets – will be blocked off to traffic between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. today for a big block party.
The event – dubbed “Picture Main Street Live” – is more of a symbolic gesture in the Village of Williamville’s crusade to take back its Main Street.
“This road doesn’t belong to vehicles,” said Mayor Brian J. Kulpa. “Its a public right-of-way. It belongs to residents and pedestrians just as much as the people who drive through it – probably more.”
Williamsville has embarked on a comprehensive plan to calm traffic on the busy east-west corridor. The federal government has already awarded $2.5 million for street improvements to help make the congested thoroughfare more walkable and business-friendly.
The Main Street movement has its doubters. So, to make a point that residents can have an influence over what happens on Main, Kulpa last year received permission from the state to shut down a portion of the street for an evening and throw a block party.
It was a big hit.
The village decided to party on Main Street again today.
“That’s the other reason we’re doing it,” Kulpa said. “People loved it.”
The block party will include a classic car show, pickup street hockey games, a bike raffle, an outdoor movie, wildlife demonstrations by Hawk Creek Wildlife Center, as well as activities around the Williamsville Water Mill on East Spring Street, where Sweet Jenny’s Ice Cream is located.
Those in attendance also will get a preview of some of the improvements in store for Main.
So motorists are going to have to find another route.
“You can take Sheridan. You can take the Thruway,” Kulpa said. “Or, you can stop by Main Street in the village and enjoy a nice party.”