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East Lansing Vintage Festival this weekend, City Council passes proposal for funding

More Than Vintage
Posted at 7:34 PM, Sep 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-29 19:34:32-04

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Downtown East Lansing will go from modern to vintage for this weekend's first ever vintage festival hosted by More Than Vintage.

Owner Louis Azor is getting ready for the festival just five months after opening his storefront.

“It was, from November to February, was just forging our business plans and models to figure out a way to get in the space, and then, ended up signing the lease Feb. 22,” Azor said. “We can really build a culture in East Lansing. We can do something that's impactful, that has culture. With all this negativity is going on in the world. So might as well just do something that's fun, and everyone can enjoy.”

But, it hasn't been an easy process. Azor needed to close down Division Street in front of his store for the festival meaning the East Lansing City Council needed to approve the closure.

“We reached out, and then, it there wasn't really much of an answer at first," Azor said. "So we just kind of like pushed it off to the side. We were just focusing on building and growing and making sure everything was going well.”

Planning was put on pause until Mayor Ron Bacon came in the shop and got the idea going again.

“He was on board 100%," Azor said. "He really liked it, he literally just helped me get that on the City Council board."

That led to an even bigger discussion.

“The council asked us to return with an updated resolution that incorporates a plan to defray costs related to these activities and that is what is before you tonight,” said Planning, Building and Development Director Tom Fehrenbach.

In a 3-2 vote, City Council approved a new policy that allocates $6,000 of public funds to alleviate some of the costs for private businesses who want to use public streets for special events. Businesses will have to pay $350 to ensure they will participate in the event and help with the cost of closing the street.

“Definitely feels like you're supported like now in a sense like they're like you have backup like the city wants you here they want to see you succeed," Azor said. "That's like the biggest like stress reliever at the end of the day.”

As for the festival this weekend, Azor said they have some fun events planned like free energy drinks and a watch party for the Michigan State football game.

“Well known vendors from across state of Michigan, we're gonna have some uncle giant cider and donuts, some live music as well," Azor said.

Azor said they're ready for all the good vibes.

“First annual Vintage Fest in East Lansing," Azor said. "So one of the let's make history.”

The festival will take over division street from noon to 7 p.m. this Saturday.

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