Downtown Junction City was abuzz on Saturday as people flocked to patronize local businesses in the area as part of Junction City Main Street’s May Day celebration.
The event, which included 24 local downtown businesses, was the first put on by the Junction City Main Street organization which is tasked to bring about downtown revitalization by promoting local business and attracting new business to the area.
“We’ve seen a lot of people come in and ask about our business so I think this May Day event has been a huge success for downtown and all of our effort that we’re putting forward to bring people downtown and get people to support local business,” Todd Godfrey, owner of several downtown businesses including Godfrey’s Indoor Ranges and Tactical Supply, Patriot Tattoo and Tanzillo’s Barber Shop.
Customers who came into one of those 24 businesses marked with a balloon outside their front door were greeted with a smile and a fresh flower.
“I think there’s great opportunity for the businesses down here to kind of come together and say that downtown Junction City is a place that you can come rather than go outside to another town,” Ken Robinson, co-owner of Twitches Gallery and Gifts said.
“As a business, it’s a great opportunity to get more customers in and to showcase exactly what we can do and what we’re offering.”
Robinson also said that increased foot traffic from the event and for events in the future is very helpful for businesses like theirs who can attract folks walking by after shopping somewhere else or grabbing a bite to eat.
Other businesses were also happy to see the increased foot traffic.
“It’s a start because Junction is kind of a quiet town so if you can get people out it’s always good,” Negril Carribean owner Petrona Addison said.
And while Saturday’s event was only the first for Junction City Main Street, it’s members continue to have big plans for the future, including Godfrey who teased something big in the works for the vacant lot in the 900 block of North Washington Street that he recently bought earlier this year across from his other businesses. The Union reported earlier this year that this could be an entertainment area with one or multiple restaurants, a microbrewery and an outdoor event venue.
“I’m just going to say this,” Godfrey said. “It’s going to be very big. It’s very exciting and I’ve been in discussions with the Department of Commerce in the state of Kansas and they want to be a part of it to help get it off the ground. I know that project will bring national venues to Junction City.”