A committee of the Pine Bluff City Council on Tuesday recommended that a proposed resolution supporting an event in downtown be approved by the full council when they meet on Monday.
Members of the Development and Planning Committee gave their OK to a request from Pine Bluff Downtown Development for $5,000 to help defray the costs of a second “Pop Up in the Bluff” event, which is scheduled for Sept. 29.
The event is part festival, part outdoor market with dozens of vendors selling various items, along with food and other activities.
“The first one was a rousing success,” said Mac Bellingrath, who attended the committee meeting with Joy Blankenship, executive director of Pine Bluff Downtown Development. “We had several hundred people come downtown, and Ryan Watley (the CEO of Go Forward Pine Bluff), asked us to do it again.”
Last year’s event was held on West Barraque Street, but Blankenship said that this year it will move to Second Avenue across from the Donald W. Reynolds Community Service Center from Chestnut to Main Streets.
Blankenship said that the 2017 event resulted in the opening of a new business on West Barraque Street, increased traffic at current businesses, and led to plans for new businesses.
“We hope we can do the same thing on Second (Avenue),” Blankenship said.
Committee members Alderman Bill Brumett, Alderwoman Thelma Walker and Alderman Glen Brown Jr., chairman of the committee, all favored the proposal.
According to the proposed resolution, the money will be appropriated from funds designated for the Delta Celebration Series and come from sales tax receipts from the 2017 Go Forward Pine Bluff tax initiative.
“We want to do this year’s Pop Up bigger and better than last year and that requires money,” Bellingrath said.
In January, Main Street Arkansas and the Arkansas Downtown Network announced that Pine Bluff Downtown Development won the Downtown Network Award for Best Promotion for the Pop Up in the Bluff event last October.
Main Street Arkansas is a program under the Arkansas Historic District Program.