It may have been Main Street in downtown Westport, but Thursday night it looked more like a beachside carnival in the tropics.

Following a week-long delay forced by threatening weather, the annual Art About Town street party unfolded with music, painting, sculpture and performance artists.

Hundreds of people filled Main Street, which was closed to traffic throughout the evening, to sample foods, ogle stilt walkers and marvel at the range of artistic talents that call Westport and nearby communities home.

"I think it's a great thing for the community," said Brittany Youdin, a saleswoman at Lucky Brand Jeans, which was among the many stores displaying artwork for the event. Much of the artwork displayed at downtown stores, restaurants and offices for Thursday night's event will remain on view through June 15.

"It's a great way to get people out and talking to each other face to face," said Youdin.

"The weather's great and it brought a lot of people," said Steve Desloge, president of the Downtown Merchants Association, which sponsored the event.

Rock bands played at opposite ends of Main Street, while different troupes of dancers showed their moves. There was also free face painting, participatory and arts-and-crafts projects, portrait artists and a variety of food vendors.

"I love it," said Tamsen Malcarney, owner of Blue Lemon restaurant, which offered food to the crowd. "I think it gets bigger every year. And I really like that they serve wine."

"It's great," said Lauren Schiller of Westport. "It's interactive for the kids, which is a lot of fun."

"The spirit is incredible," Desloge said. "I've had a lot of people come up to me and say, `This Westport is going places.' "

For more details about Art About Town and participating artists whose work will be on display through June 15, visit: