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Old Town businesses counting on new event to attract foot traffic

Posted at 5:18 AM, Aug 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-21 05:18:39-04

LANSING, Mich. — A lot of events had to be cancelled this year, each one of them has come with a price.

That includes all the festivals Lansing's Old Town usually hosts.

Many Old Town businesses rely on the summer festivals to make it through the year.

That's why they hope people will come and experience Old Town this weekend.

"Festivals are like the life blood of business down here in Old Town," said Chad Jordan, Cravings Gourmet Popcorn owner.

Old Town Commercial Association cancelled all of its festivals, including Jazz Fest and Blues Fest this summer.

"It's been rough," said Margaret Rinehart, Uban Beat Kitchen Manager. "The lack of festivals has been really interesting. It's my first year taking over here and we were really, really counting on that."

It's not just Rinehart counting on Old Town summer festivals, about every business on Turner Street is.

"It's also kind of a hit to the social fabric that is Old Town. Old Town is very community and we know our neighbors," said Jordan.

"It's definitely been a little of a challenge and it's sad to not see those faces that are coming here every year that come for those events," Summer Schriner, Bad Annie's owner.

Saturday was supposed Art Feast in Old Town, but like everything else, it is canceled.

The Old Town Commercial Association is hoping a new event, "Experience Old Town," will let everyone know Old Town is open.

"We just wanted to give our businesses a place to stretch out and enjoy the entire neighborhood and what it has too offer," said Lynn Ross, Old Town Commercial Association.

And businesses are looking forward to "Experience Old Town," setting up sidewalk sales and booths up and down Turner Street.

"I think it's going to be nice just get back into the flow of an event," said Jordan.

"Experience Old Town" is happening Saturday from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Social distancing and masks are required.

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