Niagara Gazette

Opinion

July 6, 2014

EDITORIAL: Old Falls Street isn't just for tourists

Niagara Gazette — There’s no question Old Falls Street has revitalized downtown Niagara Falls.

The thoroughfare, that stretches from Third Street to Niagara Falls State Park is home to the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls and the excellent Niagara Falls Culinary Institute.

It’s well-groomed, tree-lined roadway provides a great impression for tourists visiting downtown — particularly when you consider what the area looked like just a few years ago.

It’s something for city residents to be proud of.

It’s also something for city residents to visit and enjoy.

In the past two weeks we’ve been provided with examples of how great a gathering place Old Falls Street has become.

The Niagara Falls Art and Music Festival has grown by leaps and bounds since moving from Main Street and this year was another great showing for the relatively new endeavor.

But it was this past week’s World Cup viewing party that really got us excited. Organized in a moment’s notice – relative to your typical festival — the event, featuring a live feed of the U.S./Belgium game, drew hundreds on a weekend night when probably few area residents would venture downtown.

It was great to see and despite the game’s outcome, it was a great vibe downtown.

Successful spur-of-the-moment events like this are just wonderful to see in our downtown core. It wasn’t that long ago it was practically a ghost town, even in the summer months.

And while there won’t be any more World Cup viewing parties (we imagine) we still expect to see a lot of familiar faces downtown.

The TGI Fridays on Old Falls Free Outdoor Concerts, the live music series is under way on Friday nights. The concert series has moved to Old Falls Street’s conference center block this year, closest to Third Street, where attendees can enjoy sitting on the TGI Friday’s patio, as well as food and beverage vending. Concerts run until 10 p.m. and are followed by fireworks launched over Niagara Falls.

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