Reporter: Dhomonique Ricks l Videographer: Jemon Haskins
Lynchburg, VA - Lynchburg's party with a purpose has been going strong for 20 years and in two days, Friday Cheers kicks off again with The Worx taking the stage.
Over the years, so many people have gone, it has led to lots of traffic and some headaches for local businesses.
Lynch's Landing officials say they will have Jefferson Street blocked off this season for Friday Cheers. They say they hope it will make everyone a bit happier this time around.
Friday Cheers is pretty much in Depot Grille's parking lot. Last year, it drew the crowds from near and far. But Depot Grille says the traffic does not burn them.
"There's always traffic. It doesn't matter what the event is. The complaints this past weekend were the graduations, all three of them on the same weekend. Any event in the community brings its challenges, but the challenges are far outweighed by the benefits of the community," said David Poole, owner of Depot Grille.
In fact, they say they are happy for big turnouts.
"With the nonprofits being as challenged as they are, we're glad to see that Lynch's landing is stepping up and trying to make a difference in the community," Poole said.
But not every business in the area feels that way, or wanted to go on camera.
"I'm sure they will gain a lot from it as far as getting more people in their doors but it is kind of a hassle for them I know I've heard," said Jessica Boardman, Celebration Bridal manager.
Over at Celebration Bridal on Main Street, they say the crowds do not hurt their business. They close at 5 p.m. and are located a few streets away.
"We always have some traffic and some parking issues, but we really work hard to work with our local businesses," said Anna Bentson, Lynch's Landing executive director.
This year, there will be more food vendors and some new bands too.
"We're ready. Obviously there are a few last minute things to check off the list, but we have a great group of volunteers that helps us every year, all of our vendors are lined up, we have great sponsors helping us out so we're ready to rock and roll," Bentson said.
Friday Cheers will be held at Riverfront Park from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. every Friday until July 20. Admission is $5, and kids under 12 get in free. Money from the event supports downtown revitalization and local nonprofits.
Join ABC 13 News reporter Dhomonique Ricks this Friday as she hosts the first concert series of the season.