Last weekend, the Discover Irvington festival (formerly known as Celebrate Irvington) brought Irvington residents and friends, business owners, and community organizations into the heart of Irvington to celebrate the neighborhood's unique character and positive growth.
The annual Irvington Business Association event is designed to help businesses and nonprofit organizations engage the community and offer information and entertainment. Festival organizer Allison Luthe said, "We accomplished our goal of bringing more attention to the great flavors, shops, and cultures that make up Irvington. The streets were filled with excitement, conversation, and creativity. Thank you to the visitors, community partners, volunteers, and businesses who made it all possible."
This year, in booths and shops along Audubon Road, Washington Street, and Johnson Avenue, nearly 50 businesses participated in the Discover Irvington marketplace, and 20 community organizations represented their causes. Luthe was pleased that "the event drew new businesses into the association and brought a broad array of media attention to the neighborhood, including Fox 59's Your Town Friday segment, broadcast live from Dufour's. "
Shoppers visited the bricks-and-mortar stores at the festival and shopped from Retulled's dress racks, chose from a selection of vintage and handmade items from Audrey's Place, and enjoyed sweet treats from Robbybaby's Kitchen. ARPO brought some adorable, adoptable dogs. Keep Indianapolis Beautiful promoted its popular Adopt-A-Block beautification program. Irvington Garden Club sold native plants, and Good to Grow displayed an aquaponics food production system. At the Alternative Gift Fair in the Irving Theater, artisans offered a broad array of handmade items, including jewelry, pottery, woodcraft, art glass, photographs and paintings, and soaps and lotions.
Music lovers enjoyed a very successful new addition to the event: the Irvington Acoustic Blues Festival, at Playground Productions. Throughout the day, six blues acts performed to a full house, and attendees snacked on complimentary chili and salsa from Chef Dan's and La Mexi-Gringa. Festival director JJ Stenzoski said, "We estimate attendance during the four-hour festival to be between 300 and 350 people of all ages." Performers included the popular Delta Duo, Gene Deer, and Jason Hathaway. The music was a great success and, along with Coal Yard Coffee and the Bonna Shops, helped expand Discover Irvington beyond the Washington Street corridor. At next year's festival, expect even more activity on Bonna Avenue, with the expansion of the Pennsy trail and addition of the Irvington Coal Factory development.
Go to www.discoverirvington.com for information about Irvington organizations and events scheduled throughout the year.