Surrounded by members of the Chamber of Commerce Red Coats and owners of downtown businesses, officials with Pine Bluff Downtown Development previewed the upcoming Pop Up in the Bluff scheduled for Saturday.
At a press conference at Miss Margaret's Cupcake Shop on West Barraque Street, Mack Bellingrath said the event, the first of its kind, will take place on Barraque Street between Pine and Chestnut Streets from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission will be free. He said the site contains some of the earliest buildings built in the city, some of which have been repurposed and are now being used for shops such as the cupcake shop.
He said organizers hope that the event will be the catalyst for more business growth and development in the downtown area, and will feature 21 vendors and organizations who will be selling a variety of products, such as food and t-shirts, as well as showcasing a variety of art.
Bellingrath recognized Dee Herrin Gatlin, who owns some of the buildings along Barraque Street, as well as Thom Brown, Harold Terry and Brian Jenkins — all merchants who have businesses in the area.
“They've got skin in the game,” he said.
Vendors will include:Bob “Hubba Jubba” Moss; the Kiwanis Club; Go Forward Pine Bluff; Greg Newsom Art; Mountain Berry Yogurt/Doctor's Orders Pharmacy; BJ's Collectibles: Tie Dye Creations; the Pine Bluff Art League; Pine Bluff Country Club Chef Jamie McAfee (farm to table; Healthcare Plus; the Arts and Science Center; Pine Bluff Convention Center; Putt-Putt Golf; Shepherd at Tipton and Hurst Florist; A & E Graphic Design and Print; LaRich Media; Natural Bliss; Amazing Restorations; Tender “G” Barbeque; Kitchens of Wheels: the Property Shop.
Bellingrath said MK Distributors, one of the sponsors, will have a craft beer setup, and there will also be miniature golf and music throughout the event. Joy Blankenship, the director of Downtown Development, said the event will showcase the potential Pine Bluff has as a place “everybody will want to come to.”
Mayor Shirley Washington arrived late because she had been at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff for an event there.
“When I pulled up and saw all those cars on the street I got so excited I almost ran here,” she said. “Exciting things keep happening when we work together.”
Sponsors of the event are Simmons Bank, MK Distributors, Relyance Bank, Liberty Utilities, Jefferson Regional Medical Center and Pine Bluff Downtown Development.