Mayor: Downtown at Dusk to be ‘re-evalutaed’

Published 7:40 pm Friday, September 16, 2016

Downtown at Dusk, a local concert program funded by the city of Vicksburg, may not make it past its first birthday, city officials say.

At the very least, Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said the program would need to be re-evaluated.

“It’s just not benefiting the city in terms of attendance and participation that I thought it would at the cost that it’s costing us,” he said. “By re-evaluated, I mean pulling the plug.”

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If the concert series is to continue, Flaggs said, Vicksburg Main Street or a non-profit will have to take it over so that the city can spend its discretionary funds “that are more beneficial” to the city.

“We didn’t get the participation and the whole idea was meant to enhance foot traffic downtown and have people ultimately shop downtown,” he said.

Kim Hopkins, the executive director of Main Street, said they would be happy to take over Downtown at Dusk.

“We would like for it to continue. We have talked about different ways we could tweak and try to change it up, but of course, it would have go before our board for us to approve it before we could take it over,” Hopkins said. “We would have to have money from the city because we’re limited on our funds. Our budget is so tight already with the advertising and promotions that we currently do.”

The reason behind the apparent lackluster performance of the concert series, she said, could incorporate a number of reasons.

“I’m not saying it hasn’t been a hit,” she said. “Some of them we’ve had crowds, and some of them we’ve had rain or the weather has been really hot.”

She said the largest event attracted approximately 100 people.

“We’ve looked at possibly holding it at different times,” she said. “We’ve looked at possibly doing a whole different event including music.”

Hopkins said the last event for this year will be Sept. 29, and the board will have to vote during their September board meeting next week on whether the program will continue next year under the umbrella of Main Street.