Lynchburg Festival Makes a Comeback

It’s been two years since Get Downtown Lynchburg last hit Main Street, and the city is gearing up for its return Saturday, Oct. 1 from 4-9 p.m.  The popular festival will feature a variety of local vendors, street performers and musicians. 

“Get Downtown was initially started with the goal of bringing college students downtown. … So it was kind of an opportunity to showcase the city that is now the students’ home-away-from-home for nine months out of the year,” James Ford, the marketing director for Downtown Lynchburg Association, said.

This year, every vendor is required to provide some sort of activity or shopping experience, and with triple the number of vendors from years’ past, attendees will have no shortage of activities to keep them entertained.  

Headlining band Vacation Manor will be just one of the many artists performing throughout the night. Other acts will include Isaac Mather, Renee Ruth and The Drive.  

“Honestly, all of the music is awesome, and we will have acts kind of going on rotation from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on both stages,” Ford said.  

Attendees can also look forward to community performances from groups such as Red Shoes Dance Academy, Hill City Cloggers and Wolfbane Productions.  

There will be plenty for the children to do as well. Stilt walkers and costumed superheroes will line the streets. The artistically inclined can observe live murals being painted along Main Street. For those hoping to pick up a souvenir, Benaiah Prints Co. will be featuring on-site screen printing with a limited-edition Get Downtown logo. Add Logo will also be presenting a “Finders Market,” selling local creatives and artists’ work. 

When it’s time to grab something to eat or drink, festivalgoers can choose from Burg Burritos, Benny Scarpetta’s, Market at Main, Batter Bar and Nomad Coffee, to name a few.  Businesses from Church Street and Jefferson Street will also be setting up booths. Not only will attendees be enjoying a fun evening out, but they’ll also be supporting local businesses.  

“There’s a lot of new and exciting things for people to experience, but then also having these 130 plus vendors out there is an opportunity for small businesses outside of downtown to have this exposure,” Ford said.  “So definitely a big … positive impact on small businesses.”  

With expected crowd estimates between 10,000 and 12,000, Ford is excited about the impact of the event.

“I see testimonials or social media comments … like, ‘Wow, I didn’t know this was downtown,’ or ‘Wow, downtown has changed so much … I need to go downtown and check this out.’ That’s what I want to hear throughout the night,” Ford said.  “Honestly, I think the way we measure success is just that people enjoyed it and had a good time.”

If you are interested, be sure to head over to Get Downtown on Oct.1.

Malanowski  is a feature reporter for the Liberty Champion

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