By JAMES BELL Hays Post
August is set to be a busy month for the Downtown Hays Development Corp. with three major events planned.
While Brews on the Bricks and March to Main are returning for 2021 and are sure to be as popular as ever, the Birthday Bash will celebrate 20 years of the DHDC in Hays, with free community events, in conjunction with the Fall Art Walk from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. August 27.
"Everything is free," said DHDC Executive Director Sara Bloom. "The kids festival is free. We will have lots of games and prizes.
"The street dance will be free. We will have a beer garden for those that would like to have a drink with their concert, but for the most part everything that night will be free."
And, she said, with so many people already downtown for the Hays Arts Council Art Walk, it is a perfect time for the celebration.
"From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. that night under the pavilion, we are partnering with a lot of local agencies and organizations like the United Way and local churches and things like that," said Allie Glidewell, DHDC director of events and operations.
Thanks to the support of those groups, she said a Bounce house, popcorn, a variety of table games, and a dunk tank will be a part of the Kids Fest.
Brews on the Bricks 2019 / photo by Cristina Janney.
"It's going to be so super fun," Glidewell said. "It's going to be completely free to the community. There is going to be all sorts of prizes for however many tickets and raffles the kiddos win playing these games."
And like any other birthday party, there will be a birthday cake.
"We are buying cake to feed hundreds of people," Glidewell said.
Cutting of the cake is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
"Augustine's is making us a 20th anniversary/birthday cake and then lots of cupcakes," Bloom said.
The celebration will conclude with a free street dance on 10th Street, featuring Anthony and the Animals.
"From 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. just down 10th Street, where Brews is normally held, will be the free concert," Glidewell said. "Super family-friendly — it's going to be a really good time."
The beer garden is also slated to be open during those hours.
While the celebration will allow the community to experience another downtown event, it is just another example of the work DHDC has done in downtown Hays.
"We are always looking to not only create events and opportunities to come downtown but to continue the beautification and development of downtown," Bloom said.
That work has been a large driver of economic development downtown, bringing people from all over the region into the heart of Hays.
"I think what's really fun is, we see a lot of people walking around," Glidewell said. "I don't know if it's the warm weather, but I feel like whenever I'm walking downtown ... It doesn't matter if it's 7 o'clock in the morning, noon, 6 p.m., there are always people walking around downtown, which is awesome because they are probably hitting more than one shop, more than one retailer. They are getting all of the things they need downtown."
With the energy and ongoing business development going on downtown, Bloom said anyone interested in opening a business downtown can call the DHDC office.
"If you are interested in being downtown with a business, you think this is time to open your own, contact our office," Bloom said. "We love connecting potential businesses with building owners and helping you get in and get started and promote you as much as we can."