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Midweek party: Brick Light Nights offers music, arts and crafts

Brick Light Nights returns for its second year with more music and vendors.

The family-friendly event, which will be held every Wednesday through Oct. 31, spans the Brick Light District at Harvard and Central NE. It begins and ends an hour earlier this year, running from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Music starts at 6 p.m.

“We have duos, trios and full bands,” said Christi Sanchez, talent acquisition manager. “So we want full, louder sounds. Since it is outside, we really want to fill that space up and fill that whole street up with beautiful sounds, so I select bands that have that fuller, powerful sound. … There is 22 weeks (of Brick Light Nights), and for each event there is an opener and a headliner and there is a full band that is a headliner so 44 total (bands will be part of the series).”

Plenty of children’s activities will keep young ones entertained, including face painters and a cartoonist. Arts and crafts vendors will be selling their wares, including jewelry, bath and body products, candles and T-shirts. Several artists will be creating works during the event.

“One of things we ask for is people create the stuff themselves and not resale,” organizer Alex Paramo said of the vendors. “We try to keep it super-local. … It has to be New Mexico, for the most part, as much as possible.”

Eventgoers can purchase a passport for $10. Businesses in the Brick Light District will offer specials and discounts to passport holders.

“We find since the stage is in the Mazaya Cafe patio, then on the outskirts closer to Central and closer to Silver (streets) people don’t seem to congregate there as much,” Paramo said. “It’s incentive for people to do that for that passport program. At the end of the year, there is a big raffle that we do, so it’s starting to get folks involved. … All of the business that participate have some kind of specials going on, and some of them even have their own programming to get people to walk in.”

Brick Light Nights organizers have teamed up with Two Way Street News, a magazine created in Albuquerque.

“It’s produced at a minimal cost, and homeless folks purchase it at a minimal cost and then they sell it for whatever they want and they keep the profit,” Paramo said. “So it’s really empowering folks and getting them off the street and having something they call their own.”

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