Organization to bring downtown Darlington alive with free concerts this summer

Darlington Downtown Revitalization

DARLINGTON, SC (WMBF) - Darlington is known for the track that’s “Too Tough To Tame”, but city leaders want to bring just as much attention to their downtown scene.

In an effort to attract more people to the area, starting this summer the Darlington Downtown Revitalization Association (DDRA) will bring downtown Darlington alive every fourth Thursday of the month with a series of free concerts.

“We’re trying to improve business climate downtown and in the city,” said Lisa Rock, the Director of DDRA.

What better way than with an event that lets people explore and enjoy what it has to offer? From May through September, every fourth Thursday of the Month the city will block off Liberty Lane and part of Pearl Street for a free concert.

People will have opportunities to enjoy live music, a car show, boutiques and restaurants in the heart of the city.

Modeled after the popular Florence after Five events in downtown Florence, Lisa Rock said they started testing out holding free concerts a few years ago hoping for just as much success.

“Those events any kind of activity that you have downtown creates an activity for the businesses,” Rock said. “Those businesses downtown that was open those restaurants were full, they were turning tables, they were making money, that’s what we’re here to do.”

That’s what Trey Calcutt, owner of the barbeque restaurant Fahrenheit 225 said he wants more of.

“Especially during the summer because a lot of Darlington people actually like to go to the beach or to Florence and have something to do,” he said.

“Giving people more reason to spend money and more time in their community I think only benefits the community itself,” said server Jason Humphrey.

Opening the restaurant in 2018 Calcutt said he chose the heart of downtown to help revitalize the community he’s always called home.

“I’m trying to get it to flip and actually for people to see that oh you can actually make it, you can actually do something downtown,” Calcutt said.

Rock said through these kinds of events, the organization is able to help out businesses. She said so far the area has seen $170,000 worth of improvements with businesses through DDRA’s Improvement Incentive Grants and that number doesn’t even include the businesses who didn’t receive grants.

“They just saw the neighboring business cleaned up so they were going to clean up and that kind of domino effect is what we really want,” Rock said.

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