Augusta, GA – Arts in the Heart kicks off Friday night and goes through the weekend.
Tents have already gone up early in the day right in the middle of Broad Street where dozens of businesses sit.
Businesses is within the walls of Arts in the Heart, may not have it so bad. But the businesses on the other side of the entrance have to deal with people who have one goal: Park and head to the festival.
“It brings so many people downtown that don’t normally come down here,” said Ooollee Bricker, a downtown business owner.
The Garden City becomes a destination spot for people as the line-up of fall events begin right on Broad Street.
“We’re outside of the borders of the festival. I wish we were inside. I really wish we were, but it’s ok that we’re outside because we put up our big Frankenstein out front so we can remind people that the costume shop is here,” Bricker said.
Bricker, who owns Vintage Ooollee, looks at the bright side of people who will be a stone’s throw from her store. Even though the thought of people just walking by may be scary, she’s banking on those same people remembering the business during Halloween. And when you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.
“I do sell advanced [Arts in the Heart] tickets here. We sold 800 tickets so that brought a lot of people in here that had never been into my shop,” she said.
Location is everything. Mary Kay Samouce travels to different festivals selling antique and vintage jewelry. So the proximity of Vintage Ooollee to Arts in the Heart helps.
“That’s what exciting about the kind design work that I do. I’m constantly hunting for new pieces to work into my designs. So, it’s a big treasure hunt,” said Samouce who will be at Booth 830 near the James Brown statue.
Festival chaos may not be a problem for United Loan and Firearms, a business located on Broad Street outside the festival.
“We’re the only business on Broad Street that has out own private parking in the rear,” said salesman John Scott. “Anytime you can bring out of town business into local businesses it’s a good thing.”
Scott also told us he actually likes Arts in the Heart most because it encourages shopping and not all events that block off downtown does that.