The first Wednesday of every month, from May through September, Bank Street in downtown New London will be closed off for "Eat in the Street."
The downtown street festival will offer themed nights with vendors, entertainment and restaurant specials.
"Eat in the Street is the grand opening of downtown New London for the season," said Mayor Michael Passero. "Just let people take over the street instead of the cars."
The city is not hosting their staple summer event, Sailfest, due to the pandemic. Instead they will host the five, smaller, street festivals.
"It is going to be something different, but it will still be something for our community to come out and enjoy for the summer," said Barbara Neff, who is coordinating the event for the city.
Neff said that there will be parking available and shuttles so that there is still easy access to downtown.
The June, July and August festivals will feature scaled down fireworks shows. Each month will be themed. The first one falls on Cinco de Mayo.
"We will have a mariachi band that will go up and down and perform on the street," said Neff. "We will have vendors and food trucks and restaurants with specials."
Chef Carlos at Hot Rod Cafe will be making an octopus and shrimp ceviche. The restaurant will also serve quesadillas that are the size of pizzas. Bar specials will include a spicy margarita.
"I think it's going to be a good thing," said Chef Carlos Paucar. "We are trying to get to the new normal."
Ledge Light Health District will also be attending the May street festival. They will host a vaccine booth for anyone who wants the shot. According to the health district, it is one of its many efforts to bring the vaccine directly to the people.
"If you show up for the event and you can't get a vaccine, you'll be able to do it on May 5th," said Neff.
During the Eat in the Street nights, Bank Street wll be closed to traffic from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Restaurants will be encouraged to have tables outside.
"We are trying to build a comfort level for people. We are trying to get them back out, back downtown," said Passero. "Let them know that we are open for business and that we can still get together safely."