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Megan Voth, special to Newton Now
The hustle and bustle of cars on Sixth Street will give way to pedestrians Thursday, June 16, for the Newton Chamber’s Main Street Mainia event.
Free activities, sidewalk sales and food vendors return to downtown from June 16-18 to promote stores and celebrate the community. The kick-off event will be Thursday, with Sixth Street blocked off from Main to Poplar Streets.
“Main Street Mainia is a great celebration of our downtown stores that we have,” said Newton Area Chamber of Commerce Director of Marketing and Communications Courtney Critchfield. “It’s an opportunity for an interactive evening of friends and family, to show off our community and display what Newton has to offer.”
The Newton Rec Center will provide an inflatable bouncy house for kids, arts and crafts, along with popcorn and snow cones. Bicycle safety training, a free bicycle valet, helmet fittings and giveaways and a Girl Scout’s bicycle decorating contest will be offered by the Healthy Harvey Coalition.
Kids’ games and family Zumba will be offered by the YMCA, too.
“With the addition of the YMCA this year, I think that has helped us to put it together, and I believe the Healthy Harvey Coalition gives multiple options of participation in Main Street Mainia,” Critchfield said. “I love how everybody is working together to create a successful event.”
She also said the Chamber will participate by putting together prize packages that will be awarded every half hour beginning at 6:30 p.m.
“For the past 30 or more years, sidewalk sales have taken place on Main Street but later morphed into Main Street Mainia in 2005,” Critchfield said.
Sidewalk sales will be held on Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 8: 30 p.m., on Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Moyo Clothing, the new 701 Cafe and also other independent people are a few who aim to organize their sidewalk sales over the weekend.
“By bringing it all outside, people who drive down Main Street might stop and see what’s going on,” she said.
Food vendors will also be available for visitors to purchase tasty treats throughout the weekend.
Critchfield said that Back Alley Pizza and Prairie Harvest definitely plan to serve up offerings for people.
“Main Street Mainia is an attention grabber by pulling these amazing stores that we have to the outdoors,” Critchfield said. “I think it’s neat to see people see others stopping and then having fun and then want to go check out the stores themselves. It’s almost like Main Street inside-out.”