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Organizers say events help revitalize downtown Bristol

By Laura Halm
Published On: Jul 05 2013 08:26:13 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 05 2013 03:18:37 PM CDT
EVENTS HELP REVITALIZE DOWNTOWN BRISTOL
BRISTOL, Va./Tenn. -

Downtown Bristol comes to life with concerts, antique car shows, even fireworks -- for the first time in more than 20 years, Bristol had Fourth of July fireworks this year.

Organizers say hundreds and hundreds of people showed up despite the rain.

We caught up with event organizers, who told us these events all give people a reason to get downtown and are their way to build a community.

Independence Day Celebrations in downtown Bristol proved to be a red, white, and 'boom' in business for Phyl's of Bristol. "Between 7 and 9 p.m. we had more than 70 people in our store. Lots of new faces," said manager Megan Street.

We learned the store just moved on State Street and employees say one of the biggest selling points was the variety of events. "Not only Border Bash, the fireworks, the car shows, and movies in the park. Rhythm & Roots will be a great way for us to get our stores name out there," added Street.

Over the last few years organizations have been partnering together to revitalize the Twin-Cities downtown and make it great on State. "You want something happening all the time. You want people living, working, shopping, playing here all the time," said Christina Blevins with Believe in Bristol.

That's because not only does it attract tourists, it means lots of cash being spent here in the Tri-Cities.

One prime example is back in August when Bristol welcomed the popular group Mumford & Sons. "On the Virginia side alone there was an over $5 million impact," added Blevins.

For those spending time and money downtown, they say Bristol now has a breath of fresh air. "The new restaurants popping up, the new venues and concerts, it's a lot more fun," said shopper Andy Dickenson.

Organizers say they rely on help from volunteers to make thing like Border Bash happen. If you would like to help out you can contact Believe in Bristol by visiting their website, you can click here.