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By Helen Silvis of The Skanner News
Published: 09 July 2013

In a press release Mayor Hales has announced he is working with Friends of Last Thursday to nail down the management and conditions for Alberta Street's signature Arts Festival. The festival attracts 10,000-15,000 visitors to the street each month it is open.
Arrangements between the mayor and organizers broke down before last month's event after the mayor asked for an earlier closing time, dozens more portable toilets and proposed to close down with a streetsweeper. Neighbors have been split on the event with merchants liking the money it brings but some residents finding the nuisance of cars and unruly crowds too much.
The Friends group will continue as organizers, but the festival will close at 9:30 p.m. instead of 10 p.m. That's a compromise.
No word yet on the number of portable toilets.
Here's the full press release from Mayor Hales:

Last Thursday, the monthly summer arts fair, is on again for July after some controversy in June.

The event runs the last Thursday of each month through the summer on Northeast Alberta Street between 15th and 30th Avenues. The celebration, now in its 16th year, brings together artisans, performers, neighbors and the business community.

The office of Mayor Charlie Hales convened several meetings this year regarding the festival, which has drawn criticism by some neighbors because the events had grown into all-night parties. The mayor and staff met with volunteers, the business community, neighbors and representatives of several city and county bureaus.

For the May and June events, the mayor's office requested that organizers increase the number of volunteers, security personnel and portable toilets. Organizers balked at these requirements. That led to the organizers resigning last month.

But on Monday, the organizers returned to the table to discuss future art fairs.A set of proposals for Last Thursday include:• The Friends of Last Thursday would return to help coordinate volunteer efforts. The business community also is working to find volunteers.• The celebration would receive a city permit for July, August and September 2013.• The fairs will conclude at 9:30 p.m., rather than 10 p.m., as they have in the past."Events like this take an amazing amount of volunteer effort. We never take that for granted," Mayor Hales said. "For Last Thursday to remain a great event, it will require the volunteer leaders, the neighbors, the business community and the city coming together. It appears we are well on our way to making that happen."

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