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Downtown Live brings the heat; drawing regional attention

(Photos/Robin Dunn)

Marty Callahan, with Jasper’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA), said Saturday’s Downtown Live produced another fun event with no significant problems.

Callahan said the main band, Fly Betty, along with opener CJ Prather put on one of the most fun shows they have had; comments afterwards indicated quite a few people agreed.

The high temperatures Saturday may have delayed the crowd from coming out, but Callahan felt the numbers swelled quickly after the sun began setting. “It’s always hard to estimate numbers but I think there were more people around, under the courthouse trees and in the shady spots, than people realized,” he said.

As it got later, the lines at the vendor booths grew and overall, it was a solid event. “I know they did well from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m.” he said.

Heat is one thing the organizing DDA has no control over – at least not too much. Callahan said the DDA members have talked about it and don’t believe they should start later and end later. He said comments from vendors, businesses and the public have made it clear, 10 p.m. is the right cut off.

“We provide water, but there is just so much we can do,” he said. “We have looked at some shade structures [but they didn’t seem like they would work]. We have these events in the summer, and this is just what we deal with.”

Callahan said the Jasper event is drawing the attention of other towns as he has had calls from Calhoun, Ellijay, Blairsville and Ball Ground asking about the behind-the-scenes work. “Some of those places said they are using the same bands but not getting the same numbers,” he said. “I tell them we learned from Canton, and we are passing it along. I [emphasize] commitment is the key. Once you start planning you have to keep working. I tell them we have got growing pains with little things, like size and bathrooms but we keep working [to improve].”

There are two more Downtown Live events for this year,

• July 13th at 5 p.m. with headliner Tyson Leamon with opener Sy Chadwick.

• August 10th at 5 p.m. with the Whisky Rose Band.

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