Thursday, August 09, 2001

Main Street fest aims to lure people back

Event to feature music stages, crafts, food

By William A. Weathers
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The first Main Street Arts and Music Festival on Aug. 25 will showcase the business and entertainment district that has struggled to attract customers lost after the April riots.

        “What we want to do is bring people back downtown to the Main Street business district,” said Mike Cromer, co-owner of the BarrelHouse Brewing Co. and a member of the Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce.

        “Businesses are recovering. This is to bring people back downtown.”

        The festival, planned to become an annual event, will be 2 p.m to midnight on Main and 12th Streets in Over-the-Rhine. It will feature local and regional music acts on three outdoor stages. Artists will sell arts and crafts in booths along both streets and there will food and locally brewed beverages.

        “It's a free event,” Mr. Cromer said. “This city is all about festivals.”

        Patronage on Main Street is on the upswing, said Mr. Cromer.

        “Things are starting to bounce back,” he said. “We've seen a steady increase in business since April.”

        The festival is co-sponsored by the Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce and Main Street businesses.


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