This summer, from 5 to 8 p.m. beginning on June 2, and recurring on July 7, Aug. 4, and Sept. 1, the Vashon-Maury Island Chamber of Commerce will close the main highway uptown, from Subway to the Vashon Theatre, to combine some of the best nights of the year on the island with the already vibrant First Friday Gallery Cruise.
There will be a detour southbound to Beall Road around the east side of Thriftway, and northbound to the west side of IGA to Bank Road.
The entire community is encouraged to participate in the festivities, which will include restaurants and stores sprouting up in the street, live chalk art at the main four-way stop, live streaming from Voice of Vashon, and a word-art project for kids held around town.
“This is exactly the kind of community activity we need on Vashon. This makes First Fridays even better for families, adults – everyone,” said Jennifer Harvey, owner of Island Queen.
Harvey and Island Queen are well-known for catering to kids during past street closures, and for next month’s First Friday, it will be no different. Families are welcome to make Island Queen their first or last stop, or home base.
Connie Sorensen, co-chair of the Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors, is pleased with the response from businesses and the community.
“This is a fantastic idea that’s been years in the making. We’ve heard wonderful feedback. Folks are excited,” she said of the new program.
“We’re thrilled the Chamber could provide leadership to do this,” said Cheryl Lubbert, the Chamber’s other board co-chair. “Our mission is to create a vital environment for commerce and community, and Vashon Summer Nights does just that.”
While the street closure allows for new events and experiences in the downtown area, Vashon Summer Nights is an island-wide event. The Chamber of Commerce will maintain a web page dedicated to promoting all island activities on summer First Fridays, regardless of location. Businesses who want to sponsor an open gallery, music, art, public program, or any other community event can contact the Chamber to be listed.
More information on all of the activities may be found here.