A special event in an unlikely Dallas neighborhood re-introduced some North Texans to downtown. Two stages, dozens of vendors and plenty of North Texans all gathered at the new Main Street Gardens Park for an event that would not have been possible five years ago.
"I'll tell you this, 5 years ago I was hoping that something like this could happen downtown," said Joshua Florence, owner of City Tavern and one of the organizers of the Homegrown Music and Arts Festival. "I think the turn out is fantastic and I think its going to get a little better."
The Homegrown Music and Arts Festival is the first event at the newly opened Main Street Gardens Park in downtown Dallas. And Saturday, the 12 hour event drew quite a crowd.
"I think the more exposure in this neighborhood is going to be good for everybody because there's just going to be people who don't know what's going on and they're going to come down," he said.
That's exactly what Malcolm and Tracy Payton decided to do. They brought their three daughters with them to the festival. "We live in Rockwall actually," said Tracy Payton. The family made the long trek all the way to downtown searching for something a little different to do on a Saturday afternoon.
"Its some nice things in downtown Dallas," he said. The Payton's were pleasantly surprised by an area once thought to be on the decline. "It makes me feel like I need to get down here more often because I'm very surprised about the restaurants and the stores and stuff that are open down here," she said."I hear people say that all the time," said Florence.
The hope for downtown business owners like Florence is the more chances North Texans have to visit downtown, the more they will want to come back. "There's restaurants and shops and people live down here, you know," he said. "So its really cool to expose everybody to what's going on downtown."
It already worked with one family and maybe soon more will follow. "I'm excited to see what more Dallas has to offer, you know, in the downtown area," said Payton.