FLINT (WJRT) -
(07/11/14) - It's a Saturday night of music, art and food. Buckham Alley Fest is ready to bring people into the Torch alley-way, one block off Saginaw Street.
"It's our fourth year. We think every year it's gotten bigger and better and more," said Chris Everson, Buckham Alley Fest director.
Last year's event attracted more than 2,000 visitors. The festival will once again feature two stages - one on each end of the alley.
"Every year we have 10 bands play and every year it's a different 10 bands. It's really a big local feel. We get Genesee County and Mid Michigan based bands to show people the talent we have in our area," Everson said.
Saturday's performances include dance for the first time and a rather diverse lineup of up and coming musicians.
"Hip hop, R&B this year, there's a little more from indie rock to rock'n'roll, to country and alternative country," Everson said.
Several downtown restaurants will be serving up food in the ally, along with an eclectic mix of vendors.
"We have a huge, 96 ft graffiti wall that artists will be painting live on. We have sidewalk art for children, we have food," said Kathleen Gazall, Buckham Alley Fest board member.
Since the festival began in 2010, daily foot traffic has picked up in the alley - falling in line with a long term vision for this two block stretch.
"We're adding planters and bike racks and benches, and hopefully, one day with these lights, we'll get them up permanently," Gazall said.
The hope is that more people will begin to realize that the downtown business and entertainment district stretches beyond Saginaw Street.
"There's more restaurants back here and more things going on this year. Raspberries will be doing outside seating, Café Rhema outside seating, and Churchills is more involved. It just gets more people hanging out in the alley, showing people what Flint's all about," Everson said.
Buckham Alley Fest runs from 4-10 p.m. on Saturday.