Art Stroll brings tourism to Jefferson City

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JEFFERSON CITY - For a few hours on Friday night, downtown Jefferson City was transformed into a street fair.

Friday kicked off the second annual Friday Art Stroll, which featured almost 50 different groups.

"The Art Stroll is an opportunity for our local arts community to come together, it encompasses everything from performing arts, to visual arts," event organizer Jill Snodgrass said. "[It's a chance] to come downtown, open up the streets, and an opportunity for friends and family to come together in the most beautiful small town in America."

There were 49 groups that showed off their various talents and wares, from food trucks and guitar-toting bands to Renaissance re-enactors and artists specializing in sidewalk chalk.

Rachel Plaggenberg collects piles of vases, seeking them out at yard sales and estate sales. She then uses an epoxy to hold the glass together turn them into bird baths.

The art major moved to Jefferson City recently and was excited for the opportunity to meet more members of her community.

"I'm meeting people locally and getting [me] more involved," Plaggenberg said.

Johnny Graham is a chef and owner of Revel Catering and events, and said was thrilled to have his food truck included in the event.

"We're excited to be down here, it's part of bringing more life to downtown, I'm excited to see what other artisans, restaurants and bars can bring to it," Graham said.

Snodgrass anticipated that several hundred people will attend, drawing in business for the area's bars, restaurants and stores.

"It's difficult to put an exact number on it, it definitely brings people to the downtown area when they normally may not be visiting," Snodgrass said. "We're hoping that a bunch of people will come down and make it a family friendly evening."

Graham thought the event would not only bring his business more customers, but others as well.

"I think it will gain more exposure for businesses downtown, everyone will come out and be a part of it and help your neighbors and see who's doing what," he said. "And it helps us all know what our neighbors are doing, and that will help our businesses."

The next Art Strolls will be July 31, September 11 and November 6.

"Hopefully we'll build on every one of them, and the next one will be bigger and better."

Groups seeking avenues to display their talents can apply for a spot online for future Art Strolls.

"It's free to show off artistic talent, we have 2.5 blocks of city streets that we'd love to fill," Snodgrass said.

[Editor's note: This story has been updated to fix grammatical errors.]

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