Cooperative weather, hundreds of volunteers and “big time” Texas music were expected to make the 25th Festival on the Square one of the best Saturday night.
Ms. Abell said early events, which featured arts, crafts and music, were the genesis for the art district’s and downtown’s success. It spawned the ArtWalk and the Main Street Department is partially funded by proceeds from the concert, she said.
“It brings people to the square and gives them something to associate a good time with downtown,” she said.
Josh Braden and Haley Johnson, of Quitman, came to see Whiskey Myers. They sat near the stage in anticipation.
“There aren’t enough outdoor events like this,” he said. “It’s a perfect night for some good music.”
Braden attended last year’s concert and said he expected to make it an annual event.
It was Brent and Deena Watson’s first time at Festival on the Square. They drove from Forney to see Charlie Robison. Watson said he is a regular in Tyler because of business but rarely comes downtown.
Ms. Abell said this year’s lineup had broad appeal for concert-goers and provides a good opportunity to showcase changes on the square as it turns into a cultural center for the city. Hundreds of volunteers gave thousands of hours to make the event run “scary-smooth” this year, Ms. Abell said.
After a couple of years cancelled because of weather, the festival has gained momentum for downtown the past two years, Ms. Abell said.
“It’s a big moment for us,” she said.