Deanne Philbrick of Hamden shops at the 21st annual WLBZ2 Art Festival in downtown Bangor. Credit: Nok-Noi Ricker

After the initial announcement of plans to put a giant water slide down Park Street in downtown Bangor this summer made a big splash, the group set to organize it has decided not to pursue the slide for 2019.

The Downtown Bangor Partnership will not be putting up the Urban Slide, which coordinator Betsy Lundy had hoped to put on the Park Street hill for one weekend in July this summer. The two other big events planned for this summer — the rebooted Sidewalk Arts Festival and the AeroBalloon — are both still in the works.

Lundy said that individuals and groups located on Park Street expressed concern that the three days the slide would be on the street would eliminate all parking, and would make it difficult for people to access buildings such as the Unitarian Universalist Society, which would hold services on Sunday morning, while the slide would be in place.

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“After discussions with businesses and organizations on Park Street, it was determined the event could cause hardship for some of them,” Lundy said. “That’s counterproductive to the DBP’s goals, which are to execute high-impact events that will drive traffic to businesses and organizations downtown.”

As for the AeroBalloon, a 60-foot-wide helium-filled balloon that offers rides for up to 16 people in an attached gondola, Lundy said the plans are still being worked out. She and the Downtown Bangor Partnership are still courting sponsors for the estimated $100,000 cost to have the balloon set up in Pickering Square from mid-August through mid-October.

And the Sidewalk Arts Festival is not only still in the works — a date has been set, with Saturday, July 13 chosen as the day to bring artists, artisans and performers to Harlow and Exchange streets.

The resurrected Sidewalk Arts Festival, which happened for nearly 20 years before ending in 2010, will feature a juried selection of artists from all over the state, set up along sidewalks. Applications to the festival are currently open, and will be accepted through April 30. It will also serve as a de facto grand opening for this year’s Downtown Wheatpaste Mural Project, which will install temporary art in downtown in late June, and will this year be themed to honor Bangor naturalist, educator and business owner Tony Sohns, who passed away unexpectedly last month.

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Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.