MANZANITA - Laneda Avenue merchants announce the formation of an exciting new event for summer nights: the Third Saturday Street Art Walk. Inspired by other successful art walk events held monthly in Portland, business owners Ginny Salkowski (It's Only Fair) and Judson Moore (Mother Nature's Foods) have organized with other merchants along Manzanita's main avenue to host a monthly street art walk for the third Saturdays of June, July, August and September. The first Manzanita Street Art Walk takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 18.

"We live in one of the most vibrant artistic communities on the Oregon Coast," stated Salkowski. "As merchants, we want to make Laneda as interesting and fun as possible. What better way to do that than by showcasing local artists, musicians and performers?"

The June 18 Street Art Walk will kick off the summer season with participating Laneda merchants presenting original works of local art, live music, free refreshments and special Third Saturday sales.

"We hope to have poetry readings, live music and visual art all along Laneda Avenue," noted Moore, an initial organizer of the Art Walk. "We already have commitments from more merchants wanting to join this celebration of the arts. Just wait 'til next month!"

The Third Saturday Street Art Walk offers community members and visitors a unique opportunity to view and mingle with some of the area's finest artists while enjoying the shopping and one-of-a-kind dining that has made Manzanita a destination spot. Entertainment and refreshments vary at each venue and are free of admission charges. Some highlights from Saturday's Street Art Walk include a Media Arts Festival at the Pine Grove Community Center with film, video and print materials produced locally, live West African drumming, stilt walkers, a live hip hop band in Howell's Square, avenue-wide sales and specials by participating merchants and many more surprises. Organizers hope that momentum for the Art Walk will build as the word spreads, creating a summer monthly event that all will look forward to. Local artists, performers, musicians and craftspeople are encouraged to call Salkowski at (503) 368-3638 to get involved.

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