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Portland's First Friday Art Walk rolls out 2 firsts

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Portland's First Friday Art Walk rolls out 2 firsts

PORTLAND — Congress Street was a gridlock of pedestrian traffic on Friday night for a "special holiday edition" of the First Friday Art Walk.

For the first time in its history, the monthly arts district open house featured a temporary pedestrian mall between State and Brown streets, with Congress Street closed to vehicles for two hours.

The holiday edition of First Friday also featured another first: a showcase of street performances called Circus in the Streets, organized by the Circus Conservatory of America.

The showcase featured acts Circus Atlantic, Gym Dandies, Celebration Barn Theater and The Red Trouser Show, for two, hour-long shows at the intersection of Park and Congress streets. Hundreds of tightly packed onlookers watched fire juggling, acrobatic feats and more.

The conservatory is planning to build an accredited college for performing arts at Thompson's Point, but the opening date is unknown, according to its website.

Ben McCanna can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or bmccanna@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @BenMcCanna.