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Street Fair draws thousands to downtown Arlington
ARLINGTON — With more than 120 vendors and thousands of attendees, the Arlington Street Fair brought together businesses and browsers July 11-13.
Kathleen Shalan, owner of the Country Rose on Olympic Avenue, as kept so busy during her first year as the street fair's coordinator that she barely had time to check how her own shop was doing.
"I didn't realize how huge of an undertaking this would be, but I got a lot of good help," Shalan said.
In addition to the city and the Downtown Arlington Business Association, the street fair received boosts from volunteers as diverse as the Arlington Garden Club and Boy Scouts Troop 92. Two restaurants, the Local Scoop and Playa Bonita, took part in the fair, while the Arlington Arts Council staged its "Youth Engaged in Art" event and Arlington Idol contest.
"We even had an off-duty police officer volunteer his time to make sure we wouldn't have any incidents," Shalan said. "And George Boulton was in charge of the shuttle between the street fair and the Fly-In. Teamwork is what it takes to make a community event come together."
Nola Smith, of Pacific Learning Solutions on Olympic Avenue, coordinated this year's Arlington Idol July 11, which drew 15 contestants. Emma Szondy won the 7-11 age category for singing and playing ukelele to "Kiss the Girl" from The Little Mermaid, while Lexi Vanney won both the 12-14 category and the overall grand prize.
"The judges agreed that we had a lot of good singers with good voice control," Smith said. "And it was good to see both young people and adults participating."
Just as Smith noted the number of contestants who are taking singing lessons to continue crooning, so too has Shalan already received positive feedback for next year's street fair.
"Now that I've got all this knowledge on how to run the fair, I can't let it go to waste, so I'll be doing this again," Shalan said. "Our vendors were so happy that some of them have already asked to sign up for next year."
Shalan welcomes suggestions from the community on how to expand the fair, and is interested in incorporating Legion Park and its gazebo next year.