Food festival ushers customers into downtown businesses - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Food festival ushers customers into downtown businesses

(Source: KAIT) (Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT) (Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT) (Source: KAIT)
BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) -

The second annual Southern Food Festival is scheduled for Saturday in Downtown Batesville. 

Local businesses are excited to see the event continue after it helped their sales last year. 

"It was super busy," said Madison Lewis, an employee at The Pinto. "It was packed and it brought a lot of new faces to Batesville and to Main Street. I think a lot of people don't realize that we are building to Main Street and making it more of a fun place for young people."

Lewis said they saw a lot more customers during the last food festival than they do on a normal Saturday. 

That is expected to be the result again this year as the event draws residents downtown and into the stores and restaurants. 

There has been a recent business boom in Downtown Batesville with several new shops opening up in the first five months of the year. 

Sweetie Cakes is one of those. 

The bakery has been open for just one week. An employee said it has been hectic but in a good way. 

They will be spending extra time baking and preparing for Saturday's festival. 

"We are going to have samples," employee Carol Pinkston said. "They are little tiny muffins, cupcakes really, and we're going to be sitting outside and we are going to be giving these cupcakes away so we want everybody to come down and sample and they can come back and buy what they like."

Pinkston said her daughter and son-in-law chose to open Sweetie Cakes in Downtown Batesville because of the recent revitalization efforts. 

"We've always lived in this area and typically it's been pretty slow downtown until recently when they started the new developments and all the new streets out here," Pinkston said. 

That new excitement can be felt in the area. 

Lewis said she hopes residents realize the change that has happened in downtown and take advantage of it. 

"Main Street has grown so much," Lewis said. "When I was in high school Main Street was a ghost town, you know, and now that I'm in my last year of college there is always fun stuff going on and always really involved in the community."

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