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Organizers excited to host Friday's free festival, City Social

The festival will happen from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. followed by after-parties at indoor venues. Organizers say the event will happen rain or shine.

ST. LOUIS — Preparations are underway for a free event aimed at getting people to Downtown St. Louis. City Social will happen Friday evening and even the Mayor's Office is joining the effort to create a safe environment for people to gather.

Washington Avenue will be blocked off to allow for the extra foot traffic. Add to that good vibes and entertainment to set the stage for free fun downtown. That fun includes live music from local artists, food, vendors, and drinks.

"We’re in this business to help people make memories, laugh, come together and that's what this event is all about,” said Kaje Sanford. He and Javia Gilliam own Pour Decisions.

They’re excited to bring their pop-up bar to the city's newest event.

"You can always come and get your classic cocktails. So your Manhattans, your Old Fashioneds, your Gin and Tonics, but also you'll have some curated stuff as well specifically for City Social,” Sanford said.

It's an initiative to get people downtown.

"We have an interest in making sure downtown is a revitalized place where everyone feels welcomed,” said Angela Pearson with the Mayor's Office. "You’re going to see lounges in our kickback corner. You’re going to hear tunes from DJ James Biko. We’re going to have live art demonstrations from local artists. You'll be able to buy their art as well."

Don't forget nearby businesses that are ready to welcome you.

Pearson said events like this help make the city safer.

"When we talk about having a safe downtown that means bringing people here. An idle downtown is a trouble maker's paradise so in order to combat crime, we have to have people here to do things,” she said.

Security will be located at each entry point and throughout the festival. All you have to do is get there.

"This allows us to get out into our community, celebrate, dance, laugh, have a good time…For Downtown St. Louis to have a facelift and a new narrative and I think City Social is going to do that without a doubt,” Gilliam said.

"We want to bring people back downtown. We haven't done anything like this since the pandemic,” Pearson added.

The group Greater St. Louis Inc. came up with the concept for Friday’s festival.

It will happen from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. That will be followed by after-parties at indoor venues. Organizers say the event will happen rain or shine.