Block Party Downtown!

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block party animals Block Party Downtown!

So much to do this weekend, so little time!  From the [lastfm]Elton John[/lastfm] concert Saturday night to the Arizona State Fair’s final weekend, there’s NO shortage of entertainment in the Valley.  Here’s another fun event to squeeze into your schedule: the CityScape Block Party!

(Courtesy of Kellie Hwang - Arizona Republic)

What: 4-day block party with music, food, dedication ceremonies and a fashion show.
When: 8 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-TBA Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday.
Where: CityScape, Washington and First streets, Phoenix.
Admission: Free.
Details: cityscapephoenix.com.

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The developers of CityScape, downtown Phoenix’s highly anticipated 4-acre mixed-use development, are going all out for their grand opening.

They’re hosting a four-day block party that will take over the streets of downtown Phoenix with live national acts, food tastings, wine and martini lounges, an address from Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and dedication ceremony in the new Patriots Square, a courtyard in the development. Central Avenue from Washington to Jefferson streets will be closed down for the party.

Jeff Moloznik, development manager for RED Development, said the festivities are more of an inaugural party since only about 50 percent of the businesses will be open.

“We want to evolve and really build momentum, so people get into the habit and have a routine to come down to CityScape when something is going on,” Moloznik said. “This is the start of what we hope evolves into an identity for downtown Phoenix.”

If all goes well during the weekend, there will be more, smaller scale monthly block parties.

Here are the highlights:

Diverse musical selection

Besides Macy Gray on Friday night, ’90s pop rocker Third Eye Blind will perform Saturday evening.

Many of the performers throughout the weekend are Valley-based or started their careers in the Valley. Paige Bryan, daughter of comedian Sinbad, graduated from Arizona State University last year and is returning from Los Angeles to open for Macy Gray with her soul funk music.

“One interesting band is Steve Ansel (and the Jackson Street Band) who is a businessman in downtown Phoenix and heads a 14-piece band,” organizer Kerry Dunne said. “They have opened for B.B. King . . . and play songs by Bobby Darin and Chicago, and even do a change of costume.”

Other acts include surf band the Screamin’ Javelinas, that includes Phoenix Councilman Claude Mattox, classic rock cover band the Elevens and world music DJ Rani G.

Fashion show and theatrical performances

Designer District, a brand-name boutique in CityScape, hosts its second DJ’ed fashion show since opening in August. Saturday, owner Kurt Blaydorn will feature his holiday collection on a 50-foot runway out in the plaza.

“We want to get people out of malls and create an environment with more of a neighborhood feel to it, and be something different and exciting,” Blaydorn said. “RED Development has really devoted resources to target the surrounding neighborhood, and get people to respond to the local mentality.”

On Saturday, the Valley Youth Theater will put on small performances throughout the day and Gold’s Gym will be offering free yoga and spin classes starting at 10 a.m.

The Cardinals mascot Big Red and a Coyotes Slap Shot inflatable will be there to entertain the kids.

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