Main Street saw record numbers last year, and now, as the troubled economy keeps more North Texans closer to home, organizers expect to do even better in 2009.
"I think our numbers are gonna be up," said the Main Street Festival's Jay Downie. "We are looking at other events that have occured leading up to us. They've all had very good runs in terms of attendance."
Downie said he saw an increase in this year's applications.
"The applications for the artists were up -- 1,300 applications just for 200 spots. And the applications for the food vendors were up this year," he said.
Lindsey Owens, the owner of Schakolad Chocolate Factory in Fort Worth's Sundance Square, isn't taking any chances. After selling out last year, she's already preparing hundreds of frozen bananas for next week's Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival.
"I mean I staff up extra because the store is really busy those four days," Owens said. "It's definitely great for business, we look forward to it."
Fort Worth ceramic artist Gregory Story just returned from an arts festival in Houston.
"It was just off the charts," he said. He expects the same from Main Street.
"I think Main Street this year is going to be a record show," the Texas native predicted. "Vacations are great. I love vacations. But a vacation is over, and art, you've got for the rest of your life. I think people are re-evaluating their priorities."
"We saw that during Spring Break too. There were a lot more people coming downtown and shopping and hanging out here rather than going out of town," she said. "But I think, if anything, people may buy smaller things and spend a little less. But I think people will still come."
The 24th annual Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival begins Thursday, April 16 and runs through Sunday April 19. For more information, visit www.mainstreetartsfest.org.