The Port Washington Business Improvement District, in collaboration with other local organizations, will host Port Promenade, an event along Main Street that will close a section of the street for patrons to walk freely and engage with local businesses.
The event will be held on two Thursday evenings, May 18 and June 15, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m, rain or shine. It will run along Main Street from Port Washington Boulevard to Library Drive, an expanded zone compared to the prior Port Outdoors event. The section of the street will be blocked from vehicle traffic, allowing pedestrians to stroll in the street and enjoy the event.
The festival is an adaptation of the prior Port Outdoors, an event that started during the pandemic to bring people together outside. Port Promenade will be adding more activities and games for attendees to enjoy along with the shopping, local live musicians on three different stages and outdoor dining from at over 30 restaurants.
While Port Outdoors drew a great response from community members, Executive Director of the Business Improvement District Holly Byrne said Port Promenade is the “new and improved version” of Port Outdoors. The rebranding is an ode to the original Port Promenade that was hosted in the 1970s and 1980s.
Byrne said the organization looked at the needs and wants of the community when reworking the event to better serve the community and local business owners. She said with that input, they are now taking the event to a different level and striving to establish it as a street festival.
“Walking down the middle of the street is a special event for kids and adults,” Byrne said. “It brings people out who may not come out to see how easily accessible this town is for walking.”
Additions to the promenade include more family-friendly activities, with the block between Port Washington Boulevard and South Maryland Avenue devoted to that demographic, Byrne said. This will include a kids’ dance party, corn hole and games.
Many activities will be free at the event, but some will require tickets to be purchased in order to participate, Byrne said.
Byrne said the goal of Port Promenade is to drive more customers to Port’s local businesses.
“So often it’s not until we’re actually walking on a street that you say ‘Oh, there’s that store,’ or ‘Oh, I haven’t had a chance to eat at this restaurant yet,’” Byrne said. “They might walk by and say ‘Well, I’m not going to go shopping today but I’ll be back tomorrow now that I see what they have.’”
She said a goal of hers is for all the participating restaurants to have all their tables seated twice every night.
Byrne said another goal of the event is to reach out to other neighboring communities to invite them to enjoy Port’s businesses and build the “Port Washington experience.”
Port Promenade was established in collaboration with local organizations, including The Port Washington Chamber of Commerce, The Landmark on Main Street, Residents Forward, local first responders and the Town of North Hempstead. The event is sponsored by Precision Work Inc.
“Everybody has been supportive along the way,” Byrne said.
Community members can get additional information by downloading the Try Port First app, which will provide updates for Port Promenade and other local events.