by Valerie Verkamp
La Nuit Blanche will be held in downtown Parkville Saturday, Oct. 29 from 7 p.m. to midnight.
Cyprienne Simchowitz, president of Alliance Française de Kansas City, and Erich Ostrowski, French teacher for the Park Hill High School, presented to the Parkville Board of Aldermen Tuesday evening the proposed plans for the night-time art festival.
Simchowitz said, “The concept of La Nuit Blanche, which means all-nighter, originated in France thirty years ago.”
In France, the people of the city stay up all night to mingle and view various forms of art, she added.
Erich Ostrowski said on the evening of Oct. 29, Alliance Française would like to bring this celebration of French culture and art to Parkville.
The Rivers Bend Restaurant of downtown Parkville is donating its upper level, as well as its patio, to display art work, he said.
Additionally, several other downtown restaurants are extending their hours of operation, and adding food tents outside of their restaurants for this special event. Live musical performances and other entertainment are also planned.
“I am very happy that you're bringing it to Parkville,” said Mayor Gerry Richardson. "As it expands in future years, I hope that you keep it here in Parkville.”
Aldermen unanimously approved a special event license for the La Nuit Blanche event with specified conditions to be met.
Kevin Chrisman, chief of police, said that on that same evening there is another big event located at the Parkville Nature Sanctuary.
The annual ghost story and haunted trail event starts at 6 p.m. Chrisman said that he scheduled additional staff to assist with the high levels of traffic projected for the evening of Oct. 29.
Also at the meeting, Richardson announced that he is going to run in the annual Turkey Trot, which is a 5-K race that takes place on Thanksgiving Day in English Landing Park.
“I am going to get out there and give it my best, but I am also going to issue a challenge to any and all members of the board that are interested…you enter, complete the race, and for every full minute you beat me by I will contribute out of my own personal funds $10 towards the park restoration fund,” said Richardson.
He predicted he could complete the race in approximately 32 minutes.
Richardson said that in the “unlikely event” he finishes the race before any of the competing board members, he asked that they contribute $10 for every minute he finished before them.
“The embarrassment of that is not enough,” Alderman Marc Sportsman said.
According to Kirk Rome, public works director, the process of restoring English Landing Park including the reconstruction of the park's trail is already underway. The park's trail is expected to be ready for this year’s Turkey Trot event.
In other news, Richardson proclaimed Oct. 24 as World Polio Day in Parkville.
“For many years Rotary International has supported the eradication of polio from the Earth,” said Debbie Hopkins, president of the Parkville Rotary. “Oct. 24 is World Polio Day so we just ask the City of Parkville to endorse and do a proclamation proclaiming that day as world polio day in Parkville.”