All-new event to attract business for Main Street

Chris Procacina

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Downtown Evansville may bustle with business as vendors get the chance to display their goods and services on Saturday for Pop-Up Main Street.

The all-new event, sponsored by the Growth Alliance of Greater Evansville (GAGE), will have vendors “pop-up” shop in one of four vacant buildings from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. – the former Old National building, Stratman’s Pharmacy, the Sycamore building and Anthony’s Heavenly Cheesecake.

Economic Development Programs Manager for GAGE Shance Sizemore said it is the first time anything like this has been done in Evansville.

Sizemore said GAGE hopes the event will bring life to the unused properties downtown.

“My organization’s goal in being involved with this is to promote access and use of some of the vacant spaces downtown,” Sizemore said. “The goal is to use whatever space we have access to.”

Some vendors view the event as an opportunity to experience the business brought by the downtown lifestyle, while others simply appreciate the chance at free advertising.

“A friend of mine who works at Tropicana actually texted me the information,” said Stephanie Gerhardt, owner of Cielo Shoes. “We’re still a pretty new store and we’re working on getting the word out.”

While the event will feature a book signing by Keith Robinson, local pastor and author of “You Found Me: God’s Relentless Pursuit to Find You,” as well as  dance classes presented by Studio D, the majority of vendors are looking to display their merchandise.

“My store focuses on shoes and accessories. I will have mostly shoe samples since that inventory is hard to move around. I will have jewelry, handbags, scarves and things  like that for sale,” Gerhardt  said.

She said she will set up shop in the old Stratman’s Pharmacy building.

Those looking for more entertainment can also attend the Division II Elite 8 Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament being held the same day at the Ford Center.

Sizemore said he hopes the basketball tournament will generate extra buzz about the event and vice versa. He also acknowledged that there will be plenty to keep everyone busy.

“There will be an arts and crafts show down the road,” Sizemore said. “There is a lot happening downtown so it should be a fun day.”

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