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Langley prepares for Choochokam horde

A girl sits through some face painting at the 2012 Choochokam Arts festival.  - Jim Larsen / Record file
A girl sits through some face painting at the 2012 Choochokam Arts festival.
— image credit: Jim Larsen / Record file

Preparations are under way with more on the way for the two-day Choochokam Arts Festival.

Beginning Saturday morning and lasting until Sunday night, hundreds of visitors are expected in downtown Langley for the open air arts and music festival.

City Hall reported all the necessary permits were submitted and its public works department planned to begin closing the streets to car traffic Friday afternoon. Mere days away from throngs of people, the buzz was building about the annual street soiree.

“As far as I’ve heard, they’re full and happy with the number of exhibitors,” said Mayor Fred McCarthy of Choochokam’s organizers.

Anticipating a swell in shoppers, Mo’s Pub and Eatery scheduled a band to perform each night of the Choochokam festival. Langley’s lounge ordinance requires live, amplified music to receive a permit if the lounge is next to a residence.

The major point of attention for police will be parking, especially near intersections. Randy Heston, Langley’s police chief, said he would pay close attention to any cars parked within 30 feet of an intersection.

“The whole goal is to keep the streets open enough so the fire trucks can get through,” Heston said.

Vehicle traffic will be closed in Langley on First Street from Wharf Street to Anthes Avenue, and on Second Street from Cascade Avenue to Anthes Avenue.

Heston reminded vendors to secure their booths and remove any valuables each night, despite night security.

On his 10th year working with Langley and patrolling the festival, the police chief said his department was ready for business as usual.

“It’s worked out for years,” Heston said.

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