‘The potential of alleys’ on display at first-ever Alley Fair

Joe Burgum in the alley where 'Alley Fair' will take place

Joe Burgum in the alley where ‘Alley Fair’ will take place

Alley Fair
Saturday, June 1, noon to 11:30 p.m.
Entrance at 307 Roberts St. N
Alley Fair/Facebook

When Joe Burgum envisions what the stretch of alley between 3rd and 4th St. could become, he and the other five volunteers working on the project hope it’s a mix of Alice in Wonderland and the Wizard of Oz.

Strings of globe lights will hang over the alley, trees finally budding will add some needed greenery, and environmentally friendly paint will transform the drab concrete into bright colorful shades, all making this not your run-of-the-mill alley.

It’s a project called Alley Fair, something Burgum and the others have been working on for about three and a half months. It’s part block party, part music festival, part art show. Taken together, it’s a chance to utilize a space downtown for something new that few have before.

“We hope to be thought leaders in what we’re doing as well as we hope to throw a great party. It takes a group, like the six of us in the Alley Fair team who have been working hard the last couple of months, to work for free and to take the risk to put on an event like this,” Burgum said.

Alley Fair will combine art exhibitions, crafts, food and other activities during the free and family-friendly portion from noon to 7 p.m. and it will change to $10 cover charge, 21+ from 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. with food and drink from local restaurants, along with music from Post Traumatic Funk Syndrome.

Alley Fair posters designed by Adam Wiedman

Burgum says he hopes it will all engage people to become involved in transforming public spaces.

“We really hope that this inspires others to have events like this downtown as well as the potential of alleys. The best cities in the world have activated, engaged pedestrian-friendly, bike-friendly alleys,” Burgum said. “When the first cafe opens up into the alley, those that have supported Alley Fair, have been involved, can say, ‘We did that. By putting on an event, by showing people what the alleys can be, we’ve help change Fargo.’

The volunteers have lined up a number of sponsors to help defray the cost of the event.

“It’s great to have so much support. This wouldn’t be possible … if people weren’t excited about the event or interested, intrigued or willing to meet with us,” Burgum said. “It’s easy to get support when you’re planning a great event.”

While this is the first Alley Fair in Fargo, Burgum said there is “energy” behind making it an annual or biannual event.

Images by the author.

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