Lynchburg, VA - Thousands will pack onto Main Street for the fifth annual Get Downtown festival Friday night.
It's become a Hill City tradition to welcome back students to the area colleges. But the benefits extend far beyond college co-eds.
GetDowntown! aims to showcase the best this city has to offer restaurants, shopping, music, and fun. It's what folks have come to associate with the fair. Not to mention businesses are setting out to cash in.
After closing months ago, the doors to the White Hart Café are open once again.
"The place is looking great" said one customer.
For owner Abe Loper its renovation has been a labor of love.
"It's been unexpected headaches and it's also been unexpected blessings."
For months, he's worked hard to bring the local hot spot back to its former glory. He planned the shop's grand re-opening to coincide with Get Downtown; a street fair that will pack an estimated eight thousand pedestrians onto Main Street.
"To have the opportunity to have that as your grand opening where you get that kind of visibility is priceless" said Loper.
"The street will be lined with vendors and performances on nearly every block, so there are stages throughout the event" said Anna Bentson, the executive director of Lynch's Landing.
Lynch's Landing organizes the event. Bentson, says Get Downtown has grown so much in popularity it's truly now, a Hill City staple.
"It really has become a tradition. There's really something for everybody and the organizations that participate, the businesses that participate like you said, get a lot out of it" she said.
Just ask the workers at Dave's Dawgs.
"It's an amazing opportunity for us" said employee Sandy Lara.
They came prepared to leave with little left over. When asked how many hot dogs they were looking to sell, Lara replied, "Oh, we're hoping at least 500, 750. That's what our goal is, it's just a matter of coming downtown."
The street fair ends at 9 p.m., but after parties will host live music at Robin Alexander, Speaker Tree and the White Hart.
The event will shut down Main Street between 8th and 13th from 6-9 p.m. Friday, so if you're planning on driving that way, you may want to find an alternate route.