Friday, October 22, 2010

Spreading downtown too thin?

I know this is like three weeks after the fact, but who remembers this month's First Friday (hint -- there was a bit of discussion about it here on this very blog after it happened). There were A LOT of people out because there was A LOT of stuff going on.

I will never, ever, ever complain about people coming to downtown Knoxville. I'm glad to see downtown so bustling. But ... there was still TOO MUCH going on. Besides First Friday, Pretty in Pink was being shown as part of Movies on Market Square, the 100 Block of Gay Street was having a reopening celebration (technically part of FF, but I think there were people who came out specifically for that) and the Wine on the Water fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation was happening, well, on the water down at Volunteer Landing. And those are just the things I was aware of ... I know there were a few other happenings planned at clubs in the Old City and elsewhere.

I made it out to eat and hit one store on Market Square that night and didn't get to do anything else because I couldn't get anywhere else for the crowds.

Like I said, even though I'm not terribly comfortable in crowds, I won't complain about people coming downtown. I will whine a bit about not getting to take part in all these wonderful things because they were going on simultaneously and as good as I am at multitasking I've yet to figure out how to be in four places at once.

I get that it's a beautiful time of the year and everyone wants to take advantage of the gorgeous weather. I get that UT football is its own force of nature, preventing anything else from happening in Knoxville seven Saturdays a year. Can we try to plan a little bit better though? Can we skip Movies on Market Square on First Fridays of the month? Can we try to hold some events on Sunday afternoons? Or even Thursday nights and agree to all be useless on Fridays at work :) Let's not only entice people to come downtown, but give them a chance to actually enjoy downtown and not just the function they're coming to take part in.

What do you think ... is this a pie in the sky request?


Anonymous said...

I think part of the problem might also be that people tend to think of downtown as Market Square, Gay Street, and the Old City. Hopefully as the Daylight Building and other projects get going, downtown will stretch and people will venture in other directions.

ck said...

I agree about Friday- MG. We have a whole weekend, lets spread it around a little!

Andrea said...

I agree too. There was so much going on I felt like I could only get a taste of a few things for a few minutes instead of getting to hang around and enjoy an event for any lengthy period of time. Which made it hard to really enjoy anything very much. I wish they had scheduled the block party for Sunday instead of Friday night.

B said...

MG, I don't think this is too much to ask, especially since DT is so small and most organizations know each other and can try to plan around one another's events. But I guess this is what happens when your city gets all fancy pants. Yeah, Scruffy City, I called you fancy pants.