The Humboldt Downtown Business Improvement District (BID) is looking to bring this summer’s Street Fest celebration back in a big way. At Humboldt City Council’s regular monthly meeting on Monday, Council heard a request from the BID to close off a portion of Main Street for the event.  

Alyssa Hergott, local business owner and Chair of the Downtown BID, presented the proposal to Council. During the pandemic, the Street Fest event was either cancelled due to restrictions or downsized to a Street Fest Light event in consideration of personal space requirements. The hope of the BID is to see the event, designed to promote Humboldt’s downtown core of businesses, return is its former heyday. 

The proposal outlined an intent to close Main Street from the south pedestrian cross walk at Highway 5 to 6th Avenue. A native of Humboldt, Hergott outlined her involvement in the community as a youth, an adult and an eventual business owner. 

“Some of my fondest memories growing up in Humboldt were the amazing community events that I was able to experience, such as Street Fest,” Hergott related. “Seeing the community come together for a fun and supportive event that showcases our businesses, as well as our local and provincial talent, was inspiring and motivating, and it helped to build confidence in the vibrancy of our downtown community.” She fondly recalled being on the Street Fest stage as one of the local performers. 

Hergott went on to say that one of the keys to Street Fest was the closure of the Main Street to allow pedestrian traffic to flow freely amid sidewalk displays. The closure provided room for additional vendors and buskers along the corridor, a stage for performances, and the venue for an outdoor street dance in the evening.  

Because of the downsizing and restriction to side streets over the past few years, Hergott reported to Council that local businesses saw reduced traffic flow and a diminishing value to the event. Hergott cited the Our Humboldt Strategic Framework document and its commitment to “support and revitalize the downtown.” One of the success indicators she related was “the number of festivals and events downtown.” 

“The purpose of this event is to bring people to Humboldt, specifically downtown, to increase foot traffic at our businesses,” Hergott concluded. “And to bring the community together for a fun, family friendly, and cost-effective event.” 

She reminded Council that the intent was to organize a not-for-profit event with few if any costs for the public to attend. Of course, the public would be invited to shop at any of the participating businesses or vendors at their discretion, putting money back into the community. 

Following the presentation, two councillors expressed their support and encouragement for the event. City Manager Joe Day advised Council that the matter should be referred to administration for it to ensure there were no conflicts, concerns or impacts that needed to be brought to Council’s attention. Council would subsequently receive a report and vote on the matter at a later date.