Despite Blocked Road, Downtown Augusta Merchants Welcome Arts Fe - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Despite Blocked Road, Downtown Augusta Merchants Welcome Arts Festival

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Augusta, GA -

The annual Arts in the Heart of Augusta Festival is a double-edged sword for downtown merchants.

The festival brings tens of thousands downtown, but it also means blocking off streets downtown.

That puts a burden on the businesses in the area, because it makes it more difficult for customers and employees to get to the stores.

Streets are already blocked downtown for this weekend's festivals, but some business owners say they're not being blindsided by the closings.

"This way, it sets business owners' expectations of where we can and cannot park, so it doesn't catch you off-guard. We know ahead of time that we cannot park there, cannot park there, and it works well for me," says Broad Street coffee shop owner Jennifer Tutt. "And, once the festival's business," we asked. "Great," says Tutt.

Though there is a lot of inconvenience for businesses, David Hutchison, the owner of the Book Tavern, says if it's for Arts in the Heart, "I would like to see the streets blocked every other week."

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