AUBURN — City officials are hoping creative Twin Cities residents will help plan a celebration of arts and culture along Main Street.

Auburn’s Economic Development Specialist Alan Manoian has scheduled a meeting next week to plan the first Downtown Auburn Fine Arts and Humanities Festival.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. July 23 in Auburn Hall.

In a news release, Manoian wrote that the event would be designed to “celebrate the expression and experience of our city’s human story through glorious visual art, sculpture, poetry, theatrical performance, architecture and engaging panel discussions.”

The festival would feature venues along Main Street for art exhibitions, sculptural displays, live music and theatrical performances. Stages would be set up on both sides of Main Street, in front of business and around Festival Plaza — with the tunnel between Main Street and the Androscoggin River just south the entrance to Gritty McDuff’s serving as a Poetry Alley.

The festival would also offer walking tours around the area highlighting history and the downtown’s architecture. Boating tours along the river could be part of the festival, as well.

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A date and time for the festival has not been set.

Last spring, Manoian announced a summer-long program to get residents and visitors to think differently about the area, hopefully bringing in more business. The program involves sidewalk cafes, summer-long studio displays, walking tours, discussions and zoning philosophy changes.

So far, Manoian has hosted two discussions about urban planning, with more set for several Tuesday nights this summer.

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