AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — This weekend, downtown will be filled with music, art, food, people and a good time. Local business owners say they’re expecting a greater impact from Arts in the Heart this year, especially after the pandemic.

Road closures have begun in anticipation of the event. This year’s festival will be held at the Augusta Common and on Broad Street from 6th Street to 10th Street.

Business owners along Broad Street say they’re excited, and people coming downtown should plan accordingly.

“People have to get used to the new traffic patterns down here– definitely. You know, parking can be difficult, but it’s totally worth it,” said Tacocat General Manager Candace Memory.

Some business managers have experienced quite a few Arts in the Heart festivals and say the event brings new customers.

“Arts in the Heart, that are at least profitable for the business areas, you know, that are kinda bringing in those extra customers, that are kinda helping us out when things are kinda slowing down. Because coming in from the summer time going into the winter time now, it’s kinda slowing down a little bit but not enough that it’s impacting us,” said Mellow Mushroom Kitchen Manager CJ Haus.

They also say they’re excited to see what things will be like post-pandemic.

“I think we’ll see a return to the normal numbers. Those pre-COVID numbers that they had for Arts in the Heart, before it was always so many people,” Memory said.

With all kinds of things to see and do, business managers say being prepared and ready to have a good time are key.

“Vendors will set up and sell you different types of food, different types of things that you couldn’t normally buy around here, something that’s kind of local and unique to this area– that I think that’s, you know, very very good for where we are right now,” Haus said.

The festivities run tomorrow through Sunday.