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Downtown Searcy gets down

By Jeanni Brosius

This article was published September 19, 2010 at 6:00 a.m.

the-downtown-area-of-searcy-remains-vital-because-of-the-efforts-of-groups-like-main-street-searcy-which-is-part-of-the-nonprofit-historic-preservation-organization-main-street-arkansas

The downtown area of Searcy remains vital because of the efforts of groups like Main Street Searcy, which is part of the nonprofit historic preservation organization Main Street Arkansas.

— Downtown Searcy will be alive with the sound of music as Get Down Downtown gets under way on the square.

The free event features music, art, vendors, food and children’s activities and fosters the vitality of the downtown area.

“The free community-oriented event falls into line with what downtown is,” said Amy Burton, executive director of Main Street Searcy. “This is our third year to do it, and last year, we had an estimated 15,000 people. We are anticipating a bigger crown this year.”

Because of sponsors such as Chesapeake Energy, Burton said the event has been able to remain free and open to a broad-based market. Several Searcy High School reunions have been planned to coincide with the Get Down Downtown celebration, Burton added.

“It’s pulling people in who may not have been back to Searcy in 20 years,” Burton said.

The event is set for 6 p.m. Friday, and it begins again at 10 a.m. Saturday and will continue until the music stops that night. There will also be a children’s area in Spring Park during the daylight hours that will feature inflatables, games, rides and kid-friendly entertainment.

There will be more than 21 musical performances, including Mark Wills and the Elise Davis Band, who will begin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Another local artist who is making her mark on the Nashville scene is Pamela K. Ward, who will take the stage at 7:45 Friday night. Ward was a top-four finalist in the 2010 World Famous Wildhorse Saloon Houseband Search and a featured performer at the Country Music Association Music Festival.

Festival T-shirts are available for $12 at Sowell’s Furniture, Stotts Drug Store and The Boutique, which are all downtown businesses. The shirts will also be available during the festival at the Main Street drink and T-shirt stand by the Hoffmann Architectural Stage.

Proceeds from the shirt sales will go to benefit Main Street Searcy, a nonprofit organization that assists downtown merchants with financial assistance for upgrading and repairing structures and supports small-business operation and design consultation to assist in revitalizing the interior and exterior of their buildings and streetscapes.

There are no dues for downtown merchants to join Main Street Searcy. Its operating costs are covered by private donations and fundraising events.

Burton is the only staff member of Main Street Searcy, and as a native of Searcy, she is passionate about preserving and promoting the downtown scene.

“Amy Burton is a very efficient and enthusiastic person who loves promoting downtown Searcy,” Betty Mote of Sowell’s Furniture Store said. “We are very fortunate to have her as our Main Street director.”

For more information on Main Street Searcy or the Get Down Downtown festival, call Burton at (501) 279-9007 or visit the website at www.searcy.com/mainstreet.com.

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