MADISON (WKOW)-- The new location for this year’s Rhythm & Booms is a welcome change for downtown businesses, with crowds expected to top 150,000.
“I know we're excited, and the other businesses in the area are as well cause normally it takes everyone away from us, but this year it brings them right here,” said Jaimie Onasch, the marketing coordinator for Spass Platz.
Essen Haus and others shops in the Spass Platz prepped for big crowds Saturday, with Rhythm & Booms taking place just cross the street.
“We're kind of thinking since we're so close we'll have some people who hit the festival and kind of come in for the air-conditioning for a little bit and kind of bounce back and forth,” Onasch said.
But even businesses closer to the square expect to see a jump in customers.
“We're excited because John Nolen Drive will be inbound till 1 PM,” said Mary Carbine, the executive director of Madison’s Central Business Improvement District. “So folks can come on downtown as normal for Farmer's Market and make it a day.”
Madison’s Central Business Improvement district had event organizers at board and merchant meetings.
“We work a lot to coordinate with the businesses,” Carbine said. “We're one of the key points of information between the city events and the businesses and the planning,”
An added boost for businesses just off the square-- the construction on East Main and King Streets is now complete and the roads are open to traffic.
“Beautiful new street-scape, sidewalk cafes, so that's a welcome addition and news for Rhythm & Booms,” Carbine said.
Of course this is the first year the fireworks show is taking place near downtown, so it’s difficult to predict exactly how the day will play out.
“We aren't sure with the new location what the traffic patterns are going to be, when people are going to be coming and going and that kind of thing but we're making it an all day event,” Onasch said.
Onasch says they'll definitely be taking notes this year...about what works and what to do differently next summer.
The parking lot at Spass Platz will be available for parking. It's $40, but you then get a $40 voucher to spend at the restaurants in Spass Platz.
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