BELFAST - Each year, in late spring, an astonishing array of whimsical benches appears in and around the green spaces and public places of downtown Belfast. From the Post Office to the waterfront, this annual installation of 'art to recline upon' dots the sidewalks in style and passersby can't help but oblige the call of Please, Be Seated. It is no surprise that visitors to the downtown will often stop into a nearby shop to ask, 'Is that bench for sale?' According to Please, Be Seated project curator, Elaine Bielenberg, 'Visitors are constantly asking if the seats are for sale because they have such appeal. This year we can offer wider audience participation through an online auction, where each seat is showcased with a photo and a description.' In addition, Bielenberg said, 'The sale of part of our seat inventory helps fund next year's artists and projects, and by making space for new seats next year, we can keep the project fresh and exciting.'

Please, Be Seated (PBS) is one of several programs of Belfast's Main Street organization, Our Town Belfast. Since March, 2010, Our Town Belfast has been on a mission to foster economic development through historic preservation in their downtown commercial district. Streetscape projects like PBS provide a draw for tourism and a memorable experience downtown, adding to the vibrancy of Belfast's bricks and mortar traditional appeal. 'Locals and visitors alike enjoy both the practical and fanciful aspects of taking a break on one of these one-of-a-kind seats created by some of the area's best artists,' said Our Town Belfast Executive Director Breanna Pinkham Bebb. Bebb added, 'These seats are the site of many a photo-op and create a kind of annual scavenger hunt, where people try to find all of the 35 seats located downtown.'

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