Nov 16, 2009

Westheimer Block Party - The Last Time Is The Best Time

Oh what a thrill it was, and what a portent of things to come. Omar Afra, the big-cheese behind the Free Press Houston and the grand master making the Westheimer Block Party happen, has announced on the FPH website that this past weekend's Block Party will be the last.
This will be the last Westheimer Block Party. However, the next one will be the return of the Westheimer Street Festival. It may take 2 months or it may take 2 years but this festival has outgrown our singular capacity. There can only be a return of the Westheimer Street Festival. The streets must be shut down, the city must get behind the event, and I can no longer personally foot the bill. Our staff can no longer handle the capacity of the growing festival and squeezing all of these people into the same block is becoming hazardous. The streets must be shut down. We have an on camera commitment from Annise Parker, that if elected, she will support street closure if we can find financing for necessary portopotties, police, and clean up. She even shook my hand on it. But we need the community involved. So whoever is elected, we are asking for a big community turnout at the first city council open session the new mayor presides over. We need 500+ people to swamp city hall and show city officials that there is indeed a large constituency that supports arts and music. We will let you know when this transpires but we NEED your support. We love this community so much and want to see WestFest grow but it cannot in it's current form. We will be forming a non-profit to meet this challenge which will be made up of only Jedi's who have an unyielding love for arts and music. It is time to take BIG steps and we will do whatever it takes to shut down the streets. Thanks for all of your support and love.

Omar Afra

BTW- Summer Fest is gonna be GINORMOUS. You would pee your pants if you knew who we confirmed today.

God Bless the Trose'.

Omar Afra
Managing Editor

To give some more background on the above quote, Annise Parker is one of two people vying to win the run-off election for Houston Mayor. The Westheimer Street Festival, formerly the Westheimer Arts Festival, was the yearly original weekend-long party that fueled the Montrose insanity. At it's peak, upwards of 200,000 people would show up and the streets from Montrose to Taft would be closed off completely. It was an insane and awesome affair and is fondly remembered by -FUPPETS- and by all the other freaks, weirdos, and lovers of freaks and weirdos out there.
Omar did good by creating the smaller Block Party format, but it has indeed gotten out of hand. Without street closures, and without the support of police and the city government, it is very difficult to justify letting 15-30 thousand freaks overrun what is a busy intersection at the heart of the Montrose. Oh, what beautiful chaos it is.
Summer Fest is a weekend long concert held by Allen Parkway put on by the good folks over at FPH. This next 2010 Summer Fest holds promise to blow the roof off of Houston.

-FUPPETS- will be uploading some images from this weekend's Block Party tonight. On a very sad note, a FPH staffer died late Saturday night, falling to his death from the Hazard St. bridge over Hwy. 59. His name was Lee Powers. Omar and the FPH are going to put a benefit concert at Mango's to raise funds for Lee Powers' funeral expenses.

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