Artown bring people to town and money to local merchants and this year's crowds are bigger than ever.
This year's opening act was Mickey Hart, the former percussionist for The Grateful Dead. He drummed up an impressive crowd at Wingfield Park.
"I would have to say that opening night with Mickey Hart ...I have never seen the park that crowded...ever!" said Artown Executive Director Beth MacMillan.
And that momentum has continued. Artown spans 500 events during the month of July and that pays off well for the community as a whole. When Beth MacMillan took over at Artown in 2003, attendance was logged at 14,000 people. That has more than doubled. Last year they estimate 300,000 people took part. And that has strengthened the community's commitment and support.
"Individuals are feeling invested," MacMillan says. "And that is great. But corporate sponsorships are up too. And we have the support of the City of Reno and the county and state and federal funds have all helped us."
That support means that 60% of the events on the list are free to the public. And the economic impact of $6 Million in 2003 has also more than doubled to $14 million last year.
Saturday, May 25 2013 2:16 AM EDT2013-05-25 06:16:04 GMT
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