JT hears the Riverbank project is in the final stages of completion. It has got to be ready for the dedication scheduled for Nov. 16.
A lot of people are getting excited about having the new and improved riverbank ready for the Christmas Festival activities. Some others JT has talked to are wondering if this will finally end the blocking off of Front Street for activities. In addition to the hassles of closing Front Street to traffic, it’s also been a deterrent to shopping.
For the last event downtown, St. Denis Street was even closed at both ends. Since St. Denis Street runs one way, away from Front Street, it didn’t make a lot of sense to JT to close access to those stores. Aside from Church Street, which always remains open for downtown events, St. Denis Street is the only street that intersects with Front Street that actually has retail businesses on it.
Speaking of downtown, the new riverbank project will certainly be an improved venue for fairs and festivals. However, JT hears great things are expected in the development on the old Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) property. If speculation is correct, this new entertainment district, anchored by a microbrewery, will certainly draw visitors away from the downtown area. Situated between Cane River Lake, Chaplain’ Lake and close to Northwestern, it could be a huge draw to guests.