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OPINION | EDITORIAL: Event to show off city's improvements

by Byron Tate | May 22, 2021 at 2:47 a.m.

For those in-towners who have not ventured downtown and particularly for the out-of-towners who are wondering what all the buzz is about with Pine Bluff remaking and reinventing itself, Saturday will be a good day to get out to see it all.

The happening starts at noon. That's when there will be tours of all the cool old and new stuff downtown. And by stuff, we mean the multimillions of dollars in improvements to both the infrastructure and offerings: library, pool, arts center and streetscape.

The tour will also include the businesses that have been hanging on down there through thick and thicker. Dust, construction, street closings or streets that looked like they were closed -- these are the survivors of all this improving, and it's past time to show them some love and the inside of your pocketbook. There will be opportunities for that.

In all, 15 buildings will be open for the tours as part of "preservation month," which is celebrated in May.

After four hours of that, put on your dancing and/or eating shoes because Main Street will have food and retail vendors, music and live entertainment.

One of the organizers, Mary Ann Lee, chair of the Pine Bluff Historic District Commission and owner of Indigo Bluff Coffeehouse, said she want to showcase the area to highlight the benefits of keeping the downtown area as a viable destination.

"One of the things we wanted to do was not only recognize the month but highlight some of the preservation efforts that are going on downtown in the historic district that people should be made aware of," she said. "If you don't come down here on a regular basis you don't see the changes that are being made."

Because of all of the construction that's been going on down there, other business entrepreneurs have been holding back until, literally, the dust settles, Lee said, adding that restaurants and taverns are on the way. Did she say restaurants?

The dust has now settled, and downtown has not looked so spiffy in decades. Oh, and the weather is supposed to be nice. So get your chores done early and come on down: Let's all support and celebrate what the city has become!


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