Kareem Johnson | Digital Journalist

Crescent Plaza Soiree Draws Guests to See Sculpture, Businesses

Reported by Kareem Johnson

The Crescent Plaza Sidewalk Soiree held Wednesday evening in Clayton attracted a large crowd of people who showed up to see the unveiling of Gerard Tsutakawa’s sculpture Uzumaki Curve and find out about businesses in the neighborhood.

“It’s a real honor to have such a great piece of art by a renowned artist here, and we’re so glad to add this to our collection of public art,” Mayor Linda Goldstein said.

The block party-style event ran from 5 to 8 p.m. with businesses opening their doors to the public and inviting them inside to see their wares and services, sample food and mingle.

“I think that events like this, where people can sample our food, come in and visit our establishments, just give people an opportunity to get to know us, visit us and have a good time,” said Mary Szyhowski of Stratton’s Café.

Cheri Chod, who owns Blue Moon Activewear, said she was very happy about event.

“The event is fabulous. They’ve worked very hard on this for a year, and we’ve been hearing about it, and this is an absolutely amazing event,” Chod said.

Sarah Umlauf of the Clayton Century Foundation had an information booth set up at the event.

“We are so fortunate that we a beneficiary of tonight’s event,” Umlauf said.

The foundation will receive 10 percent of the proceeds from some of the participating Crescent Plaza restaurants, including The Grill at The Ritz-Carlton, St. LouisAraka and Luciano’s Trattoria. The foundation plans to raise $20 million from private sources for the city’s centennial in 2013.

The atmosphere even drew visitors who didn’t know about it beforehand.

Randy Stratton was working on a job at Steve Schankman’s Contemporary Productions and decided to stop by.

“I saw the party, and thought I’d come over and see what it was about,” Stratton said. He found a sidewalk performer dancing with a streamer in an inflated clear ball particularly fascinating.

The night included a performance by The Fabulous Motown Revue.

Linda Crymes’s daughter came to see her daughter perform with the group.

“It’s a very nice event,” Crymes said.

Ellen Gale, executive director of the Clayton Chamber of Commerce, said the sculpture will bring art lovers to Crescent Plaza and increase foot traffic.

“We’re very lucky to have it,” she said.

Organizers expect to make the Crescent Plaza Sidewalk Soiree an annual event.

What do you think of the new sculpture in Crescent Plaza? Tell us in the comments.

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