• John McGary, Woodford Sun Staff

Block parties and arts on tap this weekend

The annual series of downtown Versailles get-togethers kicks off Friday with a new sponsor and slightly longer name: "The City of Versailles and Versailles Merchants Association Friday Night Block Party." In previous years, the event was organized by the Versailles Merchants Association (VMA). In 2017, the VMA is getting a bit more help from the city of Versailles, along with a $2,000 check. Mayor Brian Traugott said Public Works Director Bart Miller is helping with signs and marketing, and another city employee will be on hand to help make sure the event closes on time and is cleaned up afterwards. "It really has a broader purpose than just helping those merchants within eye-line of the event," Traugott said. "The more we get people downtown, the more they're likely to repeat downtown trips." Each Friday Night Block Party (May 22, June 23 and Sept. 22) runs from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on West Green Street. The VMA's Maria Bohanan said local restaurants will sell food and people will be allowed to purchase and carry alcohol in the block between The Woodford Inn and North Main Street. There will once again be free activities for children. "That's the reason this whole thing started, was we needed to find a way to get people to see what was available to them in their downtown," said Bohanan. "And one of the things that we realized is that having an event would help bolster that." Friday Night Block Party schedule (6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.) May 26: Twiggenburys. June 23: Boogie G and the Titanics (new this year). Sept. 22: Tom Cool and the Cooligans. Art in the Park The first Friday Night Block Party will share space with the ninth annual Art in the Park, which takes place on the front lawn of The Woodford Inn Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is sponsored by The Art Village, and will feature nearly four dozen artists and craft-makers in what organizer Laurel Kratt calls a "fun, free family event." Kratt said that on Saturday there will be children's activities, musicians will stroll the grounds, and food trucks and Addie's will offer lunch. Midway Block Party Perhaps 2,000 bicyclists will travel through Versailles and Midway during during Saturday's 40th annual Horsey Hundred bike race. Steve Morgan of the Midway Business Association (MBA) hopes some of them return to Midway. For the last several years, the MBA has sponsored a block party on Main Street, and this year's free event will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. The musical act is Larry Cory and the Passports. Morgan said all of the downtown restaurants will be open during those hours, and some Main Street shops will stay open later than usual. Cyclists will be offered free raffle tickets for prizes ranging from gift certificates for Crittenden's Men's Clothing Store to coupons for free ice cream at Railroad Drugs and Old Time Soda Fountain.

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