Businesses in downtown Greensboro hope for boost from Folk Festival

GREENSBORO, N.C. – As thousands of people make their way into downtown Greensboro for food, fun and live music, businesses on the other side of Elm Street are hoping some of the festival foot traffic will come their way.

"We wanted to have an event to start pulling some people down here," said Joe Rotondi with the South End Advocacy League.

The league is one of several groups hosting the South End Funk and Folk Dance Party.

The goal is to get festival goers to check out the other side of Elm Street.

“There's stuff going on down here all the time,” Rotondi said. “This is a great opportunity to come down here and check it out."

Rotondi says last year, businesses on the South Elm Street didn't get much love.

"There seemed to be a barrier,” he said. “As people go to the tracks, they look over and then kind of turn around."

City leaders came up with the funk and folk idea: three days of music and fun just a few blocks away from the Folk Festival.

"We're going to have some song writers out,” Rotondi said. “A little bit of laid back, a little bit of dancing."

To make it easier to get there, festival goers can hop a trolley or follow the many signs which point them to South Elm.

“We want them to be moving around because we do have so many great local businesses to showcase," said Julia Roach with Downtown Greensboro Incorporated.

Businesses like Gibb's Hundred Brewery Company have been getting ready for weeks.

The brewery is showcasing two new beers and has doubled up on staff, hoping to get much larger crowds than last year.

"Last year, we were sad to miss out on all the festivities,” said bartender Ryan Hovis. “This year we're included in it and will have more to bring to the table this time around."

The Funk and Folk Dance Party will last from September 9 through 11.