DOWNEY - The Downey City Council took formal action Tuesday to close portions of Civic Center Drive and 3rd Street on Sept. 30 to accommodate the planned Taste of Downey food festival.The festival layout will be slightly different from last year's inaugural event, city officials said. Food booths will still be set up in the roundabout area in front of City Hall but, to ease congestion, the stage and seating areas have been moved closer to 3rd Street. Responding to a request for an art component from Councilman Fernando Vasquez, community development director Brian Saeki said the city has "engaged a local artist to put something together." "I think the City Council will really enjoy it," he said. Saeki offered few details but said the artist's work will be displayed on a 40-ft-long wall along Civic Center Drive near 3rd Street. A "guest band" will provide entertainment. The City Council hired a professional event planner at a cost of $65,000 last month to organize and market the festival, which attracted about 1,500 visitors last year. For $20, visitors receive a ticket which entitles them to 10 food samples from participating restaurants. Tickets can be purchased starting Sept. 6 at the first floor Planning counter at City Hall, the Barbara J. Riley Community and Senior Center and the Downey Chamber of Commerce.
********** Published: August 25, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 19