It has definitely been a challenging and exciting year for the Downtown Wichita Falls organizaiton. While our community certainly needed it, two of our major annual events experienced torrential rainfall. We actually had to cancel our largest and longest-standing event, the City Lights Parade and Festival, due to the unbelievable amount of rain. That day ended up being the rainiest day of the year.
Despite all of these issues, we still had an amazing year. We brought over 16,000 people downtown between the three events that were held, which provided an economic impact to the city of over $3.3 million. We have continued to renovate the Farmers’ Market and 800 Ohio (the Zales Building). To date, we have spent over $20,000 on Farmers’ Market improvements. At our current pace, we are scheduled to open 800 Ohio to tenants by September 2015.
We are looking forward to 2015! We will be working hard to bring more growth and opportunities downtown. We are already planning a new festival for June, and Farmers’ Market will be completely renovated and open for rental for special events. However, none of our goals and visions are possible withouy the assistance of our valued members. We count on you to help us to continue to grow the organization and make downtown a place that we can all live, work, and play.
- St. Patrick’s Day Downtown Street Festival: This was the fourth rainiest day of the year! This year’s St Patrick’s Day Festival drew approximately 3,000 people downtown. Despite the rain, people came from all over Texoma to enjoy local food, run in the Downtown Dash 5K, and rocked out to local favorites. The reported economic impact from this event was $750,000.
- The 7th Annual Cajun Fest: This was another smashing event! Over 7,000 individuals crowded the Farmers’ Market area to feast on crawfish, dance to authentic Zydeco music and see the gator show. Gator 911, formerly on CMT and A&E, put on several live, educational shows. Over two tons of crawfish was devoured. The reported economic impact from this event was $1,750,000.
- WF Zombie Crawl & 5K: This was definitely our biggest year yet! Over 5,000 people dressed up in their best zombie attire and spooky costumes to shamble around downtown. Nearly 500 people participated in the post-apocalyptic 5K that went through Kay Yeager, which was staged as an overrun CDC zone. The reported economic impact from this event was $875,000.
- City Lights: Unfortunately, for the very first time in nearly 20 years, we had to cancel this iconic event. We received nearly three inches of rain, making the roads too dangerous for travel and the parade impossible. We will be continuing the Candy Land theme in 2015, so hopefully everybody can wring out their floats and costumes for later this year!
- This year was extraordinary for the Farmers’ Market. The Charlie-Thornberry association reported a 25% increase in revenue from the previous year. The market is truly a weekend destination that draws thousands of people throughout the seaosn.
- DWFD has made various donations to local non-profits, including- Leadership Wichita Falls, the American Red Cross, Texoma Ghost Busters, and more.
We are looking forward to making 2015 the most progressive year yet! Between a newly-renovated Farmers’ Market, starting a new festival, and opening 800 to tenants, 2015 will be one for the record books.
However, there is still much work to be done in improving downtown. We continue to need your involvement in our organization. Your continued support is vital to the organization and Downtown Wichita Falls.
Membership in our organization shows your dedication and support of not only downtown Wichita Falls, but of the entire community. Downtown is the heart of the city. It helps create a sense of place for our citizens, businesses and visitors. Restoration of this historic area is vital, and we can’t do it without your help.
Please contact our office if you, as an individual or business, would like to become a Downtown Proud Member. We would be happy to mail you some membership information.
Contact (940)322-4525; firstname.lastname@example.org