An event to celebrate opening of the $1.7 million Fourth Street beautification project has been postponed until spring.
Planners had been looking at a Nov. 29 event to mark opening of the revamped two-block stretch through the downtown arts and entertainment district.
While Fourth Street itself is expected to open for vehicular traffic by late next week, the project will not be complete until decorative gates are installed in January, City Engineer Dave Hayward said.
The celebration delay is threefold, according to Chris Schilling, communications and program coordinator for the city of Columbus.
Though the festivities surrounding the grand reopening of Fourth Street have been postponed until spring, about a dozen Washington Street shops will stay open until 8 p.m. on Nov. 28, and each Thursday until Christmas.
Called Candlelight Shopping, the evening will include festive refreshments, entertainment at some shops, and special promotions and sales.
Participating shops include:
O’Child’s Children’s Boutique, 408 Washington St., 376-4155
The Savory Swine, 410 Washington St., 657-7752
Viewpoint Books, 548 Washington St., 376-0778
Lockett’s Ladies Shop, 426 Washington St., 376-8363
Baker’s Fine Gifts & Accessories, 433 Washington St., 372-9635
Cummins PowerStore, 406 Washington St., 888-818-0969
Dell Brothers Inc. 416 Washington St., 372-4486
Gramz Bakery & Cafe, 4-9 Washington St., 378-9728
Imagination Station, 315 Washington St., 373-9636
kidscommons, 309 Washington St., 378-3046
Parlor 424, 424 Washington St., 343-8711
“When we celebrate, we want to have a totally finished project,” he said.
The fact that electric outlets may not be reinstalled along the street by next week also complicates the situation with live, amplified entertainment, he said. And the fall weather is another matter.
“You’re kind of gambling this time of year with how cold it might be,”
Original plans for the event were to include a high school jazz ensemble, a high school choir and perhaps another live act, according to organizers.
The beautification project began Sept. 4 to repave the street with bricks and line it with decorative streetlights. The new design will enable the city to create a plaza atmosphere, with street pavement and sidewalks at the same level, making it pedestrian-friendly and more conducive to festivals and other gatherings.
Hayward said plans for the gates won’t be finalized until a conference call Monday.
He said trees and benches should be installed by late next week.
“The gates are really the only wild card at this point,” he said.