Holdin’ down the block?er, avenue

By By Danny Letz

By Danny Letz

The Avenues-that slice of pseudo-historical suburbia wedged between the Utah State Capitol on the west and Federal Heights on the East-will be the scene of much ado and much to do Saturday as Salt Lake City’s sister suburb hosts its 11th annual Avenues Street Fair.The fair, which begins at 9 a.m. and lasts the duration of the day, spans the entirety of 11th Avenue from D Street to I Street.”We wanted something that would bring together not only people living inside the Avenues, but also extend to the whole community,” explains entertainment coordinator Jill Van Langeveld.Run only on the contributions of volunteers from both the 9,000-household-strong Aves and the greater city at large, the fair is an opportunity for everyone to enjoy a day of festivities catered to all tastes and backgrounds. Kicking off with a children’s parade led by a drum line comprising students from the U and West High School, the fair will be the site of more than 240 vendor booths providing services ranging from food, crafts and artwork to areas designated specifically for children.Book-ending both sides of 11th Avenue will be a pair of stages that will be host to a dozen musical acts throughout the day. The performances will range in genre from jazz-rock to bluegrass and traditional Celtic.”We wanted to make sure this didn’t turn into a specifically rock or bluegrass concert,” Langeveld said. “This way, we can make sure to have music that will make everybody happy.”Though part of a storied tradition of Avenues pride for the past two decades, the last 10 years have seen an explosion in the size and substance of the street fair. Blossoming from a small, mostly local affair, the street fair is now one of the largest activities connecting the oft-aloof Aves to the rest of Salt Lake City.”About a decade ago, we really began expanding, to the point where now we’ve almost completely booked our musical lineup for next year,” Langeveld said. “Most of these performers don’t do ‘gratis’ or free performances anywhere else. They come here because they love the reception they get.”So whether the prospect of Celtic music, a children’s parade, crafts or booths full of various salted meats on sticks are appealing, or if you’re just looking for an excuse to amble about Salt Lake City’s more historical side, the Avenues Street Fair promises to have just what you’re looking for and quite a few of the things you weren’t.

Ryan Perkins

Lennie Mahler

The annual Avenues Street Fair features live bands among a variety of other performing artists. BOOMsticks performs live in the September 9, 2005 Avenues Street Fair, which was held on South Temple stretching from P Street to Virginia Street.

Courtesy of www.slc-avenues.org/2006streetfair.htm