Goshen board approves street closures

Elkhart Truth file photoClassic cars line Main Street in Goshen during the First Friday event in July 2016.

GOSHEN — The Goshen Board of Works approved a number of street and sidewalk closures for construction projects and community events in the coming months.

First Fridays

Adrienne Nesbitt requested street closures for First Friday events between May and December. Mayor Jeremy Stutsman told the board that city department heads and First Friday planners hold a meeting every year to discuss the schedule.

A few blocks of East Washington Street will be closed on either side of Main Street this Friday evening for the May First Friday, “Taste of Goshen.” International food vendors and food trucks will be set up downtown between 5 and 8 p.m.

The board approved closing the 100 block of East Washington between Main and 5th streets between 8 a.m. Friday and and 11 a.m. Saturday. Food vendors there will offer dishes including Palestinian, Ukrainian, Indonesian, Colombian, Salvadoran, Mexican, Amish, Puerto Rican, Indian and Laotian, plus a dessert bar.

The 100 block of West Washington will be closed from noon to 10 p.m. Friday for other vendors, including food trucks from area restaurants. In addition, four parking spaces in front of Goshen Theater will be closed between noon Thursday and midnight Saturday, for food trucks, and the parking lot behind Electric Brew will have a trailer and four containers in it between 2 and 10 p.m. Friday.

Other closures approved for future First Fridays include:

n June 7, “Green Day Summer Celebration.” Parts of Lincoln Avenue and Main Street will be closed for a concert and fun run that celebrates the 12th anniversary of First Fridays.

“Arts on the Millrace” follows on June 15. The outdoor art festival will set up on the west side of the Millrace Trail, between the Powerhouse and the south end of the Hawks apartment building.

n July 5, “Cruising Reunion.” Parts of Lincoln Avenue, Main Street and Jefferson Street will be closed during the car show and block party.

n Aug. 2, “CornFest.” Part of East Washington Street will be closed for the annual corn toss tournament and concert.

n Oct. 4, “Homecoming.” Four parking spaces in front of the theater will be reserved for food trucks during the event, which features live music, dancing and pumpkin decorating.

n Nov. 1, “Arts Tour.” Parking in front of the theater will again be reserved for food trucks during the showcase of local artists.

n Dec. 6, “Hometown Holidays.” In addition to the parking area for food trucks again, part of West Washington Street will be closed for the city tree lighting.

The board excluded for now the Sept. 6 request for “VolksFest,” which includes camping on the west side of the Millrace Trail. Stutsman suggested setting it aside until they know what the area is going to look like later this year.

Theater renovation

Dustin Miller, manager of project development for DJ Construction, asked that the sidewalk in front of the Goshen Theater be closed between May 20 and Dec. 20. It will be open during First Fridays.

The first phase of improvements to the theater includes opening up the lobby and installing an elevator and restrooms. The $4.2 million project was funded by a combination of private donors and public and private grants.

Work affecting the sidewalk includes a cut for basement access through Aug. 24, and additional sidewalk closures may be needed while an underground vault is filled. Dumpsters will take up a few parking spaces in front of the theater through Sept. 20, but will also be removed for First Fridays.

The alley on the south side of the theater will be closed to pedestrians throughout the project. Church and utility access will be allowed as needed.

Miller’s diagram of closures also includes 14 parking spaces at the east end of the 5th Street parking lot behind the theater. It will be used as a fenced-in staging area through the end of the project.

The board approved his closure requests on two conditions: That they not impact pedestrians or safety during First Fridays and that they only take up one parking spot in the small lot directly behind the theater instead of three.

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