This past week, the 49th annual Art on the Square brought in large crowds to Oskaloosa, benefitting not only the featured artists, but the businesses in the downtown area. The crowd for Art on the Square eventually shifted their attention from the art to the local businesses as the day progressed on June 10.
Megan Street, manager of Smokey Row, said she was ecstatic with the amount of business the restaurant was receiving.
“We were actually busier this weekend with Art on the Square than we were with William Penn’s graduation. We had to call in extra staff, but it was great,” Street said. “It was great to have The Alley next door for surplus seating as we did a ton of business on Saturday.”
Although Street was not employed by Smokey Row in years past during Art on the Square, she said her staff that has worked this event in the past felt like it was busier this year than in past years.
Street said she was thrilled with the amount of business received from the event, and she said she wants events like Art on the Square to happen more often.
“I wish we had this at least once a month,” she said. “It’s really great for business.”
Another business that benefitted from the event on Saturday was Browns Shoe Fit Co.
Manager Brian Myers said he enjoys Art on the Square, as it increases foot traffic to the store.
“It [Art on the Square] was good. It is a lot of traffic that we normally don’t see. It brings a whole new clientele to the square,” Myers said, “Overall it was good and we were up in business from a year ago. Even with it being as warm as it was, it was still good.”
The owners of two other businesses on the square, The Book Vault and The Eagles Nest, said they felt that business was the same as always maybe with a few extra customers, but they both said they enjoy Art on the Square as it is good for the community.
Phil Brager, owner of The Eagles Nest, said he went out to enjoy Art on the Square and even made a few purchases.
“I really enjoy Art on the Square. Although it is not a retail promotion, I think that it is great for the community,” Brager said. “I even went out and bought an art piece.”
Herald staff writer Megan Showers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @OskyHeraldMegan.