FLINT, MI — From the sounds of a strumming guitar to the smell of smoky barbecue grilling, crowds came out to enjoy the festivities Saturday at Flint Alley Fest 2022 in downtown Buckham Alley.
The mission of the popular festival this year was to highlight the various talents of Flint and return to its original essence.
Self-published author Porsha Deun was one of more than 40 vendors who returned to Alley Fest on July 9. She was able to see positive results for her business within three hours of the festival.
“I sold one of my series,” Deun said. “I have about half of the books I came here with left, so that’s really good.”
This is the first Alley Fest since 2019 due to the pandemic, and Deun hasn’t held this many vendor events in the past three years. With the festival returning this year, she saw an opportunity to boost efforts within her company.
“The goal is to build more relationships and sell more books. I even sit here and watch people for inspiration for other stories, in terms of characters and appearance, because it all plays into it,” Deun said.
Musical talent went back and forth from the Huntington stage to the Grater Flint Arts Council stage in Buckham Alley.
Local band Feimstro’s lead musician, Anthony Feimster, was one of more than 15 performers to perform midway through the event on the Huntington Stage on Kearsley and Saginaw Street. During his band’s performance, he sang soulful tunes to a supporting crowd. From making original songs to singing a cover by Grand Rapids-based band DeBarge, he was ultimately grateful for the opportunity to perform at the festival.
“I felt good. I felt like I was giving back to the community with what I love doing the most,” Feimster said. “And just to hear people come up to me like, ‘Yo, man, your show was awesome. Your show was awesome. You made me cry. You made me cry. That’s just crazy to hear.
Peter McFray, board member of downtown beautification organization Friends of the Alley, said it gave him chills to talk about Feimstro as a musical artist and the rest of the lineup. of the evening.
“The city needs more funky stuff like this,” McFray said. “We have tons of great bands that are very culturally representative of what Flint is today. We do a lot of press as a board to make it (the festival) more inclusive, to make it more representative of the people who are here and the people who plant their flag in Flint.
McFray looks forward to the growth of Friends of the Alley and Flint’s mission to expose local talent.
“We need to create more stages for these artists,” he said. “We need to create more A-market stages. If we want to do this, it has to look good, it has to feel good, it has to smell good, because people who come from out of town , they have to say “I just came across this stuff and it was bad as hell, it was bad. This is finally the answer.
The music, talent and business of the Flint Alley Fest, along with the food, made the day a sensory sensation.
“I mean, the food smells good and it sucks that I’m at my table all alone because I want to eat it all,” Deun said. “Hopefully I can catch some just before closing and get a bit of everything.”
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