Local Merchants Entice Shoppers through Culture Crawl

The city of Wichita Falls is investing some of your tax money to revitalize downtown.  Just this year city councilors approved $1 million from the 4B tax fund for "Downtown Proud."  On Thursday they're taking another step in making sure more interest is piqued in downtown businesses.

Downtown Wichita Falls was filled with businesses and people, all ready to take advantage of the festivities filling the area.  It ended at 9pm, but organizers hope the fun continues for years to come.

Music was in the air, everywhere, and so were locals all ready to snag a deal.
"I just brought this cute little towel for my daughter for Christmas," said Jeannine Holt.

With two dozen businesses participating in the crawl there was more than enough
merchandise to go around.

"Turtle Creek Trading, where the Indians were dancing, we've already been up and down on
 both sides of the street ," said Alice Canales-Flores, another local who shopped around.

And after tonight Alice Canales-Flores says she'll be making her way to the center of Wichita Falls more often.

"Oh yes we would love too, we would love too," she said.

That's exactly what organizers want.  Downtown Proud and Downtown Merchants Association put the event together hoping to bring in more locals to the area.

"There's people coming downtown and experiencing what their parents and grandparents did, back in the 70's, 60's, and 50's to see that downtown is not back, downtown is still happenin," said John Christoff with the Downtown Merchants Association.

It's happenin enough to encourage future business owners to set up shop and that's what
brought out Peggy Foix, also known as 'Fritz the Clown'.

"We've have some office space still available so I thought I'd be a walking clown billboard,
  Fritz the clown!"

Her enthusiasm could be seen across all the faces of those who walked downtown, even the Cats managed a smile which had their tails wagging.

It has the Downtown Merchants Association planning another crawl for the future.

"We'll have the second and third and hopefully it will go on from here," said Christoff.

John Christoff says years ago every Thursday night businesses extended their hours for customers.  Christoff hopes it's something that could start up again.

For more information about downtown revitalization check out a previous story News Channel 6 reporter on, you can find that here.

Crystal Hall News Channel 6.