JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - Once a year, downtown Johnson City takes on the vibrant spirit of the streets of Chicago. The Little Chicago Festival features local art, crafts, and live music. Local businesses are looking forward to the increased crowds.
"It always brings extra revenue, extra sales, new customers, and new people to make regulars," says Tupelo Honey, General Manager, Josh Nead.
"We're right in the heart of downtown Johnson City and we get to see a lot of people down here that normally don't come downtown," says owner of Numan's Cafe and Sports Bar, Daniel Numan.
Both Numan's and Tupelo Honey are a part of the new Downtown Merchant's Association of Johnson City.
"What we try to do and what the group strives for is to bring more activities and more people to Johnson City, to downtown specifically," Nead says.
Events like the Little Chicago Festival give visitors an opportunity to experience all that Johnson City has to offer.
"It brings a lot of people from a far and around and allows them to enjoy some of the aspects of our wonderful city," Nead says.
Jenny Patrick and her husband Mike are tourists from the real windy city. They're looking forward to seeing what Johnson City's Little Chicago is all about.
"Part of the reason why I booked a vacation here this week is because of the Little Chicago music fest. I'm like, I want to check it out. It's such a warm and welcoming area and city," Patrick says.
Family fun activities and live local music will be taking place through Saturday evening. Local businesses are looking forward to the increased crowds.