In a reverse course, organizers of Lewiston Artwalk announced this week that the October event will be canceled because of the pandemic.
The Beautiful Downtown Lewiston Revitalization Corporation also canceled plans to hold its Loft Tours and Pumpkin Palooza, which was scheduled for Halloween weekend.
“It’s difficult to set these events aside,” said Courtney Kramer, executive director, in a news release. “Ultimately, we have to make choices that prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect community health, so that we can keep businesses open during the critical holiday shopping season. Any other choice would be out of sync with our mission.”
Money and time spent planning the events will be reallocated to strengthening a “Shop Local” initiative this holiday season to encourage people to support local businesses, Kramer said. The organization plans to invite vendors to a pop-up shop during Small Business Saturday Nov. 28, the weekend after Thanksgiving.
Usually held in mid-September, Loft Tours is a walking tour of residential units downtown. The event has sold out for the past three years.
Downtown Artwalk, held in early October, is Lewiston’s celebration of arts and culture. More than 30 businesses downtown hold pop-up art shows with wine and beer tastings and live music and entertainment. This year was to be the event’s 10th anniversary.
Pumpkin Palooza, a Halloween-themed street fair, was planned for Oct. 31.
“The nature of the event — which often attracts about 4,500 kids, parents, and grandparents, concerned us in terms of community-spread of COVID-19,” said Kramer. “We did not have the resources to provide sanitization between participants.”