EUGENE, Ore. — Organizers of the Whiteaker Block Party have a lot to do Friday before the celebration kicks off Saturday.
But they say they’d be a lot more prepared if the city of Eugene had communicated with them sooner. Whiteaker Block Party organizers say it took the city months to get back to them about planning and permits.
They say there are certain things they can’t do this year, like set up canopies for the stages, because of short notice.
Streamers and some porta-potties are set up, but organizers say that’s about all they’ve been able to do for set-up until Saturday.
Organizers say they initially emailed the city back in February but didn’t hear from anyone until the end of June. They finally had a meeting at the beginning of July and then once more this week.
Organizers are also concerned with a major change this year–restrictions on Third Avenue.
“All of Third Avenue, which is usually the heart and soul of the Whitaker Block Party, it’s like where it originated. It’s, you know, where the coolest paintings and bands and just stuff is happening. It’s empty this year,” said Jason Vanderhaar, block party secretary.
City spokeswoman Jan Bohman says this year the city put restrictions on that street because of a concern for the neighborhoods. She says it’s a balancing act between the scale of the event and the livability of neighbors in the area.