Why We Love It..
It's an amazing community building festival that actually has staying power. It just finished it's 6th year and is going as strong as ever. I've been to a lot of things like it but they usually seem cheesy and contrived. Alive After Five just seems natural. Maybe it's because of the location. Canton Street is so organic that it's hard to feel like anything there is manufactured or shallow. Small business retail and restaurants need this type of exposure and critical mass of customers in order to succeed. The businesses along Canton Street have hit a home run with Alive After Five.
Event's like this bring attention to the importance of a good public realm, especially in the area of sidewalks. It helps to remind us that our city is for people and not cars. Keep it up and we'll have a sustainable, walkable, livable town center where people actually want to live. That's already happening and Alive After Five continues to remind us every month between April and October.
What We Would Change...
I get the need for traffic flow but it's just a pain. With the sheer volume of people at the southern tip of Canton Street, it might be a good idea to close the street down to car traffic from 5-7pm from the Norcross St intersection down to the Atlanta St intersection. This would hand over the entire public realm (sidewalk, street and corner park) to the people which is what Alive After Five is really all about.