The history of Downtown Alive and where it’s heading in the future

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Nothing says party in Lafayette like Downtown Alive. It brings life, music, and culture to downtown Lafayette. Downtown wasn’t always what it is today.

“It started back in 1983, when a group of people got together to really try and figure out how to bring life into downtown Lafayette,” says Marie Centanni, President of Downtown Lafayette Unlimited.

Once the music started flowing, however, downtown was never the same again.

“Downtown Alive is Louisiana’s oldest continuously running free outdoor concert series and I found out it’s the eleventh oldest in the country,” says Centanni.

The event wasn’t always as big as it is today. In fact, it started off quite small.

“In the old days, it was on Jefferson Street, and it would be in a set intersection every week in, really, a trailer of a truck,” added Centanni.

The event has grown throughout the years and with the 35th anniversary approaching, organizers of the event are more determined than ever to make positive changes to attract more people to the tradition.

These changes include having different food vendors every week, more events for the kids, more events during the first hour of the event, and partnering up with Uber to get people to and from the event safely.

Downtown Lafayette Unlimited is partnering up with the Children’s museum, the Science museum, and the library–all located downtown–to provide more kid friendly events during Downtown Alive.

The new “Happiest Hour” campaign is being launched to fill the void in music that usually occurs between 5pm-6pm. This hour will now be filled with different activities every week to start the party earlier.

Safety will also be included with the partnership with Uber.

“There will be an official Uber pick up and drop off zone at each park and first time riders will get a discount if they’re going to Downtown Alive,” says Centanni.

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