AUBURN — A new festival designed to showcase the downtown’s cultural and artistic benefits is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 11.

The city’s first Downtown Auburn Fine Arts and Humanities Festival will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring displays and performances along Main Street, from Festival Plaza to Court Street.

Alan Manoian, the city’s economic development specialist, is meeting with local arts and performance groups this week and next week to get them signed up for the event.

Manoian began talking in July about creating a festival 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.”

Stages would be set up on both sides of Main Street, in front of businesses and around Festival Plaza, with the tunnel between Main Street and the Androscoggin River just south of the entrance to Gritty McDuff’s serving as Poetry Alley.

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

A planning meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 12, in Auburn Hall.

“The event concept has really captured the excitement of a lot of folks,” Manoian said.

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