Ghosts and goblins, and of course, a few princesses, took over Main Street last Friday night, as the downtown merchants stayed open late for Venture Local Franklin's last StreetFest of the year. Trick or treaters went from store to store to fill their candy bags, while their parents were able to get ahead on their holiday shopping and everyone was able to enjoy Halloween-themed goodies from Main Street eateries such as Rosebud Cottage, Main Street Coffee and Tea and Life's Bounty.
Linda Cherry and Zumba fitness held a monster mash dance party in front of Town Hall into the night and entertained crowds with music and dances to favorites such as Michael Jackson's “Thriller.” Eric Hendrix performed original music on the Square with local focus that tells a story.
Although Movies on Main had been planned for each StreetFest event, the weather finally co-operated and folks were able to grab a chair and bundle up to watch “Ghostbusters” on a 26-foot movie screen in the Town Hall parking lot.
According to Matt Bateman, member of Venture Local and StreetFest organizer, he met a couple just passing through that were surprised to see a Main Street open after the sun goes down. “StreetFest never ceases to amaze me. Just before the movie began, around 7:30 or 8, my wife and I were sitting on a bench near Silver Threads & Golden Needles when a couple with a dog came walking by,” said Bateman. “I'm a social person, so I naturally said hello. They said hi back and I continued with asking them where they were from. They said Georgia. But, the interesting thing was that they were on their way home from Pennsylvania and just decided to stop in for the night. They were pleasantly surprised to find an event going on downtown, and they continued to rave about our ‘precious’ town, saying that they would be back.”
Bateman noted that Venture Local's goal is that by holding events such as StreetFest and organizing cash mobs and photo walks, Franklin’s distinguishing and unique traits will invite visitors in and encourage locals to stay.
“Even though Friday's StreetFest wasn't the most attended one, the positive impact is still there,” he said. “I am still convinced that StreetFest is and continues to be a driving, positive force for our local economy and tourism development. And StreetFest is brought to you by a citizen-based movement with zero budget. Amazing things can happen when passionate people come together for the good of our community.”
While October's StreetFest stands as the last of the year, because of the support of members of the community and the encouragement from visitors to continue, Venture Local Franklin and the downtown merchants hope to continue the downtown block party next Spring.