PITTSFIELD -- Organizers of this year's Discover Tyler Street have consolidated the event into an evening affair.
The Tyler Street Business Group's annual celebration is tonight [Thursday, Aug. 28] from 5 to 8 p.m. on Woodlawn Avenue and the parking lot of the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority.
Woodlawn will be closed to traffic creating a pedestrian-friendly atmosphere, similar to North Street between Park Square and Maplewood Avenue being cordoned off during the city-sponsored Third Thursday held monthly from May through October.
Discover Tyler Street debuted in 2010 as a Saturday event with food, entertainment and sidewalk sales by dozens of merchants along the entire stretch of Tyler Street, intended to promote the business district. The street was open to through traffic, but parking was limited.
While the event has grown in merchant participation and attendance, switching to the block-party, weeknight format could bolster its success, according to Diane Marcella, chairwoman of the Tyler Street Business Group.
"We hoped to have more of a fair atmosphere," she said. "We also thought it better to get people who are still in the city during the week."
Discover Tyler Street moving to a Thursday was coincidental, but holding it from 5 to 8 p.m. was borrowed from the strategy of Third Thursday occurring over the same three-hour period.
"We want people to take advantage of the event during the week after they get off from work," said architect Anthony Barnaba, a business group member.
In addition to Tyler Street-area merchants, live music and special demonstration of past years, the 2014 edition of Discover Tyler Street includes an inaugural classic car display -- weather permitting -- spearheaded by John Fiorini.
"If we get 50 cars, it will be a good night," said the owner of Performance Automotive.
Fiorini and Barnaba are among the expanded membership of a reorganized Tyler Street Business Group that has become more inclusive of the surrounding Morningside section of the city, according to Marcella. Fiorini's auto shop is on Park Street, with Barnaba's office, Blueline Design Inc. located on First Street near The Common.
"With added memberships we are now more of a Morningside organization, but for now we'll keep the Tyler Street name," Marcella said.
Business group member Karen Barbalunga believes Discover Tyler Street has helped residents and visitors alike discover Tyler Street.
"I hear from people who walk the area say, ‘I never knew Tyler Street had so much,' " she said.
"People are recognizingthe area for its food," noted Barnaba, "and, second, for furniture and antiques."
To reach Dick Lindsay:
or (413) 496-6233.
If you go ...
What: Discover Tyler Street
When: Thursday, Aug. 28 from 5-8 p.m.
Where: Woodlawn Avenue and PEDA parking lot
For more information go to tylerstreetpittsfield.com