Last Thursday art festival goes on without organizers - KPTV - FOX 12

Last Thursday art festival goes on without organizers

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A popular art festival went off without a hitch on Northeast Alberta Street Thursday evening, even though the people who normally organize it didn't show up.

The three coordinators of Friends of Last Thursday resigned on Monday over a dispute with the city about how the event should be run.

The city requested that the organizers add more volunteers, security guards and portable bathrooms.

The city also suggested shrinking the time and size of the event because of complaints from neighbors and surrounding businesses.

"I think the requests are more than reasonable," said J.J. De Sousa, a business owner who has had problems with intoxicated people lingering around after the event and vandalizing her property.

"It gets so rowdy and so crazy, and we find beer bottles and alcohol bottles in front of our shop," she said. "We've had people urinate on the side of our buildings when there were no restrooms and even when there were restrooms. So having more control would have (been) a good thing."

The event organizers didn't like the idea of closing Last Thursday at 9 p.m. rather than 10 p.m. and shrinking it from 30th Avenue to 27th Avenue.

"Complying with the city's demands would compromise the integrity of the relationships we have developed with the businesses on Alberta Street and all participants in Last Thursday," the organizers said in a statement.

Some vendors worry that organizers will have to pass the cost of complying down to them.

"The only people who haven't had to pay are people like me who just make art and sell it on the street," Jacqueline Harry said.

The city supplied police, security guards and portable restrooms for this month's Last Thursday. Other vendors said they planned to help pick up trash after the event ended.

The organizers said they hope to take part in next month's Last Thursday if they can reach and agreement about how to run it with the city.

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