Paseo Arts Festival Going Strong Despite Changes
By Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Paseo Arts Festival draws thousands of visitors every Memorial Day weekend, but this year some city ordinances have affected the event.
Just a few months ago, business owner Kathy Jacobsen was worried the changes could affect the livelihood of artists who set up shop each year at the Paseo Arts Festival. A new city ordinance adds an extra permit fee to vendors who are outside of district boundaries and on private property and placed restricts on right of ways. Because of those changes, business owners said they noticed fewer vendors.
"I had 119 booths last year, but I've lost the ones around the building because the city took the right of way, which we've just gotta go with what we can. It's just three days a year. You don't want it consuming your whole life," Jacobsen said.
But the changes haven't stopped the show.
"Everyone stuck together. The artists are like, 'Even though I lost my booth I'm going to stay with you, and you put me wherever you want,' because we're kind of a little group that's trying to get though all this together," Jacobsen said.
For long time vendors like Leitha Karen, the changes didn't have much of an impact.
"Some of the changes that I saw this year, it looks like it enhanced the safety of the event," Karen said.
In fact many of the vendors saw a record-breaking day.
"It's probably become out very best show that we do," Karen said.
Karen is grateful the city is working together with the festival to keep the arts alive.
"This city is so receptive to this event that it just needs to go on. Everyone just needs to work together on it because it's a wonderful, wonderful event," Karen said.
The Paseo Arts Festival continues Monday starting at 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
More on News9.com: Paseo Artists Could Face Increased Permit Fees