City hopes festival will bring focus to downtown

Phil Cannon speaks to the City Commission Tuesday about Flint Fest / Ashley Knight

A new kind of festival is coming to downtown Albany in just a few short months.

The city and downtown merchants are making a concerted effort to bring the focus to Front Street. Flint Fest will combine River Jam and the International Festival--bringing together music and culture.

"Usually we have somewhere between seven and ten different countries represented doing cultural performances, and each one of those countries will also have a tent where we encourage the cultural education of the general public. Down below we'll have a main stage with different musical acts," says Phil Cannon, coordinator of the festival.

The city is aiming at three or four major festivals each year, to really build a healthy tourism base. And their plans for Flint Fest do not disappoint.

"Trying to bring some nationally-renowned artist if we can this time, over time, there's been a lot of discussions about dedicating it to Ray Charles," says City Manager James Taylor.

Taylor says he wants to take advantage of Albany's largest natural resource, the Flint River and to show people in town there are more reasons for coming downtown than just large festivals.

"Show them how wonderful our downtown is and what the potential is and how it's developing. We have a lot of good projects going on and we have a lot of new businesses coming downtown," says Taylor.

Hoping that potential will continue to grow.

Flint Fest is scheduled for Saturday, October first.