Festival on the Square benefits downtown business

TYLER (KYTX) - Streets in Downtown Tyler are shut down tonight as the city prepares for one of it's biggest events on the square.

This is the silver anniversary for Festival on the Square.

This event is the main fundraiser for the Main Street Department -- that promotes downtown revitalization, business and the arts and organizers say even though great entertainment including 4 bands are hitting the stage, it's also a great way to drive up business downtown.

Inside downtown shops like the Glass Onion it's quiet on a Friday afternoon.

But owner Felecia Holloway says any downtown event draws a crowd.

"Even if people are just walking by, see the store and we've only been here 6 months. So they'll say, 'oh, I haven't seen that before.' I actually love hearing that," says Holloway.

Holloway and many other downtown businesses reap the benefits of Festival on the Square.

"If they allow people to exit and come to the restaurants and come back in, it will be a big plus," says David Wallace, a cook at Jake's Chaveta.

Wallace says accessibility to the great places to eat is key.

"All about promoting downtown as a district, what we're here for, promoting and revitalizing downtown. Want people to feel welcome, want to have a good time and want to look around and see just what's available down here," says Beverly Abell with Main Street Tyler.

Beverly Abell says all the work put in, points directly to downtown.

Main Street Tyler says Festival on the Square is a visibility enhancer, and it includes everything close by.

"This event takes in thousands of hours of volunteer time. A lot of people think it's just a matter of bringing in a stage and hiring a couple of bands," says Abell.

With bands drawing crowds, Wallace says he knows where he'll be.

"Best seat in the house for the whole concert can sit, eat, drink, smoke and see the concert from above," says Wallace.

And for those looking for customers...

"Stay open, whatever it takes," says Holloway.

Last year Festival on the Square pulled in a little more than $20,000.

All the proceeds go to fund the Main Street Department.

Gates open for Festival on the Square at 5 tomorrow evening.

For more information, click here.


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