Where: Block Avenue in Downtown Fayetteville (from Dickson Street to Mountain Street and all the in-between nooks and crannies)
When: 11 a.m. until dark, Sun., May 19
Why: Celebrate the wonderful diversity and funkiness that makes up the unique Block Street downtown district. This is a party by Fayetteville for Fayetteville!
Cost: Absolutely free to attend and to participate in activities. Vendors will have food, goods and services for purchase.
By Terrah Baker
Members of Block Street Business Association (BSBA) had no idea a simple celebration of construction completion would lead to the large, annual event that has become Block Street Block Party.
Last year’s Block Party was my first; and the entire time I kept hoping it wouldn’t be the last. Fayetteville and NWA residents galore filled the streets of Block Street in downtown Fayetteville, roaming through the rows of local businesses, nonprofits, artists, organizations, local food and other attendees basking in the funkiness that’s represented there.
“Everyone wants to find new and creative ways to promote Fayetteville culture — our local, independent, social, food, art and business culture,” said owner of Little Bread Company and one organizer of Block Party Hannah Withers.
The businesses that now line the street represent a wide range of interests and people, from clothes and handmade shoes to dry cleaners, restaurants and craft stores. Block Street is brought to life daily with the environmentally-friendly customer of Good Things Boutique, the socially-conscious at World Treasures, the artistic entrepreneur sitting outside Little Bread Company, the young college student sifting through Mustache’s newest fashion line, and the antique collector carrying out their newest treasure from French Quarters Antiques.
“We have such an eclectic mix of businesses on this street and we happen to be much heavier on retail than other downtown streets, which brings in more of a funky feel,” Withers explained.
The BSBA banned together in 2011 to put on the first Block Street Block Party that turned out to be a huge success with over 5,000 people in attendance. In 2012, the event grew even more bringing in around 12,000 attendants and many businesses and organizations.
Business owners on Block Street said they are excited to take part in the event and more importantly to be located in one of Fayetteville’s funkiest business districts. The last three years the group has come together and formed committees to help organize the party.
“Everyone who’s on Block Street tries to participate in [Block Party] because it’s fun and helps promote our local businesses,” said Dark Star Visuals owner Stacey Wieties.
This year, organizers expect the same large crowds of eager fans coming back for more of the originality and local flare.