DILLON, SC (WMBF) – More than 500 people from the city of Dillon and surrounding area attended the "Celebrate Main Street" festival Saturday. The festival is designed to give residents and visitors a chance to (re)discover what the downtown has to offer.
"Rural towns such as Dillon, your downtown businesses aren't there as they used to be in the 70s and the 80s, so we just decided to throw a festival to bring people back to downtown," City Manager Glen Wagner said.
He explained the how the "Main Street" of was once the pulse of a city, but have since lost that financial standing. Industries now dominate fiscal development, but they tend to reside beyond the city limits to avoid paying taxes.
"We rely on mom and pop stores that usually locate on Main Street to help that revenue for us to provide those services that are needed," Wagner added.
The Celebrate Main Street festival has been a Dillon tradition for more than 10 years. The event was advertised across the state to secure a large crowd.
"It's the first point of access many visitors see once they enter our town," Rosalind Sellers pointed out. She serves on the city's Chamber of Commerce and stresses the importance of maintaining a warm and inviting downtown area.
"Ten years down the road, I see every building here on Main Street occupied," she added.
The festival featured crafts, specialty foods, games and children's rides offered by approximately forty vendors. Various entertainment groups gave musical and dance performances.
"Events like today really give you a chance to share quality time with your loved ones," Raven Robinson. She has attended the festival with her son, daughter and husband for the past several years.