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Bryan Hopes Event Makes Downtown Festi-full

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Caldwell has one. Huntsville has one. Hempstead has one.

Bryan wants one.

"One of the things the city of Bryan lacks is a signature special event," said Bryan's Parks and Recreation Manager David Schmitz, "and I think it's been decided that's something that we would like to pursue. The mayor and council and city manager have all agreed that this would be good for the city of Bryan."

Schmitz has hired a new employee to handle the creation and preparation for a new Bryan event, whatever it may be.

"I have no idea what it's going to be like," said city manager Mary Kaye Moore, "but I think once we get it started, hopefully it will become a tradition. We'll do it annually."

Moore cites other city's successes with festivals as reason enough for Bryan to benefit from one, especially those who come to spend their dollars at the events.

"Often times, they decide they're going to stay overnight, or they're going to make a weekend out of it, or something like that," Moore said. "So you're adding hotel/motel tax dollars. I think the long-range benefit, though, is really bringing people to downtown Bryan, and introducing them to the redevelopment of downtown Bryan."

The city of Bryan has played host to a festival as recently as the early 90s when FestiFall was held in early October. It drew artists from across the Brazos Valley, and some 20,000 to 30,000 people. That attendance is something the city hopes they can duplicate in the future.

"We'll be meeting with the councilmembers and upper-management of the city to sit down and figure out what kind of a signature event we want to have, and then times of the year to have it," Schmitz said.

But they'll need to work fast. If they intend on having a festival in the spring, they have just nine months to work things out.