NORWAY — Main Street will be closed to traffic all day Saturday for the 44th annual Norway Arts Festival sidewalk sale and exhibition.

The art sale and exhibition is part of the annual Norway Arts Festival, which runs from Thursday evening, July 7, through Saturday, July 9.

The downtown section of Main Street will be closed to traffic on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. so festival-goers can enjoy music, dance, mime, juggling, painting, sculpture, photography, drawing, fabric art, puppets, food, poetry and other events.

Festival organizers said traffic coming east from the Lake Pennesseewassee area will be routed down Water Street to Orchard Street, exit to Main Street either on Greenleaf Avenue or Elm Street. That area will remain two-way traffic. Traffic will be one way on Whitman, Pearl, Beal and Lynn streets.

Police chief Rob Federico said Wednesday that the detour will apply on Saturday only. If the event is rained out on Saturday, it will be rescheduled to Sunday and the same detour will apply.

“Main Street will be shut off to all vehicles from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The whole idea is to be safe,” Federico said. The only exception to the prohibition of Main Street traffic will be for the exhibitors who will be allowed to drive down Main Street to set up from 7 to 8 a.m. and take down from 4 to 5 p.m.

Last year, lack of that set-up and take down caused problems for the exhibitors. Those will be alleviated this year with the new system, he said.

Residents of Oak and King streets will also be able to access their homes from Main Street with the help of an officer who will be stationed there.

Parking is available at Fare Share market, L.F. Pike & Son clothing store, Norway Savings Bank, Masonic Lodge and Rowe Elementary School lots, all within easy walking of Main Street. A special handicapped parking area will be available in lot behind Fare Share market.

The detour only is place during the sidewalk art show and not during the rest of the three-day event.

Thursday evening there will be a special performance celebrating the life of the late Tony Montanaro, considered to be one of the great mime artists. His widow, Karen Montanaro, a world-renowned mime dancer, will have a free performance from 7 to 7:30 p.m. at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School on Route 26 in Paris.

The festival is presented by the Western Maine Art Group and Norway Downtown. For more information, visit www.norwayartsfestival.org.

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