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East Valley Focus

SHERMAN OAKS : Detours Planned for Annual Street Fair

September 30, 1993|JILL LEOVY

Several blocks of Ventura Boulevard between Van Nuys Boulevard and Willis Avenue in Sherman Oaks will be closed Sunday for the Third Annual Sherman Oaks Street Fair, a crafts fair and carnival that last year drew about 70,000 people.

This year's street fair will feature about 200 vendors and offer hot-air balloon and carnival rides. Entertainment includes children's plays, magicians, storytellers, music and a Wild West show.

Half the proceeds will benefit local public schools.

Jeff Brain, president of the Greater Sherman Oaks Chamber of Commerce, said that between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., traffic headed west will detour north on Woodman Avenue or Hazeltine Avenue to the Ventura Freeway or Magnolia Boulevard. Eastbound traffic will detour north on Sepulveda Boulevard or Kester Avenue.

Local traffic will be allowed to detour on Moorpark Street and Dickens Street.

The street fair, which will include about 200 vendors this year, has been well-attended and profitable in past years, said Brain. But its charm is lost on some merchants, who say the fair hurts business.

"In the area of the street fair, they do very very well, but those just outside the area, they noticed an impact," said Brain.

The fair stretches for about a half mile along Ventura Boulevard, and most cars avoid the boulevard for a few blocks beyond the last stalls on both the west and the east, Brain said. That leaves some businesses in a gap where few cars or pedestrians pass, he said.

"This year we want to make sure people know businesses on Ventura Boulevard are open as usual and you can easily get to them," Brain said.

Fifteen parking lots in the area have been set aside to provide free event parking for the fair. At lots at Sepulveda and Hazeltine, there will be free shuttles to take people from their cars to the fair and back, he said.

Last year, the fair raised $28,000 for schools, Brain said. The fair opens at 10 a.m. and runs until 8 p.m.

Street Closure A portion of Ventura Boulevard will be closed from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday for the Sherman Oaks Street Fair.

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