Yesterday the Downtown Vibrancy Task Force held an event at 105 Street and Jasper Avenue called the Patio Flash Mob. Our “awareness” subcommittee came up with the idea a few weeks ago. What we wanted to do was encourage people to think about downtown a little differently:
Falling leaves. Crisp mornings. But that doesn’t mean the fun stops outdoors as the summer winds down. Stretch that patio season a little longer. Celebrate the vibrancy of downtown Edmonton. A vibrant downtown brings more people, who bring yet more people and more business to the urban core.
The idea was to create a little bit of a spectacle, so we positioned tables and chairs on all four corners of the intersection. It’s a busy intersection, so we knew a lot of folks stuck in cars would see us. Anyone could stop by and have a seat on our “patio” and many did!
Our thanks to Martin Kerr (in the background there) who provided some excellent music for the patio party. We had some playing cards and sidewalk chalk available for people to play with, but it was great to see what people brought with them!
We did want it to really feel like a patio, so we engaged some local businesses to help us out. Flirt Cupcakes made some delicious free I LOVE YEGDT-branded cupcakes, and they even offered table service! Transcend Coffee also came down to offer free coffee – given the cooler temperature yesterday, I think everyone really enjoyed that!
To help build a little buzz, we also created some stencils and used temporary marking paint to put the I LOVE YEGDT logo all over the area. Simple but effective. We also gave out dozens of t-shirts with the logo on the front.
We didn’t get the turnout we were hoping for, perhaps due to the weather (we need to change this!) or the fact that it was Tuesday evening, but it was still great to see a bunch of people taking advantage of downtown streets and sidewalks.
Stay tuned for more cool stuff from the Downtown Vibrancy Task Force, or if you’re feeling inspired, go and create something awesome for downtown yourself!
See you at What the Truck?! 2 on Friday!