Located in the heart of the Greater St. Cloud community is a downtown rich in history, abundant with beauty and charm and bustling with locally-owned bars and restaurants, specialty shops and thriving businesses. It’s where many of the city’s oldest buildings stand in splendor amongst their newer, modern counterparts. It’s where dramatic transformation is occurring, creative visions are emerging and local spirit is being fostered.
Over the last few months, you might have seen or heard a thing or two about Fifth Ave Live, a downtown St. Cloud concert series running monthly from August to October. This brand new community event was dreamed up last spring by an ambitious group of private businesses, community organizations and committed citizens who wanted to create an event that invited everyone in the area to experience the vibrancy of historic downtown St. Cloud.
While downtown St. Cloud has always been the center for commerce, gathering and celebrating, it’s no secret its reputation has seen its fair share of high and low times, an issue not unlike many other cities we know and love. After all, only a decade ago, the beloved North Loop of Minneapolis was a worn down, neglected warehouse neighborhood that locals avoided at all costs. Today, it’s one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in the metro area.
The North Loop is home to top-rated shopping, dining and residential buildings, but not without considerable effort from numerous entities over the course of several years. Getting Minneapolis locals to think about going to the North Loop took a dramatic shift in perception, one of which most likely occurred after the change could be seen and experienced first-hand.
This concept, to invite locals to see and experience an area where an impressive amount of positive change has occurred, is what triggered the development of Fifth Ave Live, an event unlike anything downtown St. Cloud had seen before.
Fifth Ave Live shutdown an entire block of Fifth Ave South (right in front of The Red Carpet) to make way for a “showmobile”, a 50-foot stage on wheels. All establishments remained open for attendees to go in and out as needed for food and drink, like one big, patio-style happy hour with thousands of your closest friends and live music. High energy, full bands played primarily covers from the most popular, sing-along genres, with each concert featuring two different artists, an opener and headliner.
While the primary goal of Fifth Ave Live is to get St. Cloudians to rethink and experience downtown for what it truly is: an awesome place to hangout, dine, shop and have fun; the collective group behind the event also aims to raise funds to purchase and install festoon lights, permanent, draped string lighting, for three core blocks of Fifth Ave and West St. Germain.
Festoon lights have a magical ability to establish a warm, inviting sense of place while clearly bookending the “Arts & Entertainment” district in the heart of our community. Not only will this project foster a year-round, festive ambiance, but the additional lighting elements wil provide an increase sense of safety throughout downtown. Going forward, the group behind Fifth Ave Life intends to identify and support future projects that provide similar long-standing benefits to the aesthetic of downtown and attract more visitors, economic development and community events.
With one more concert to go in the inaugural series, happening in conjunction with the much- anticipated return of Homecoming festivities at SCSU on October 20, you still have an opportunity to attend and show your support. By doing so, you’re also contributing to a much larger, and arguably more important conversation: downtown St. Cloud is evolving not only aesthetically, but fundamentally.
A unified belief to create a vibrant, safe and diversified downtown is what laid the foundation for other successful large-scale, community events like Summertime by George, Downtown Art Crawl, Common Roots Music Festival, Hockey Day Minnesota and many others, and it’s a collective effort that will continue to foster the growth and spirit of Fifth Ave Live within the Greater St. Cloud community.
You can find more information about Fifth Ave Live on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1479936632109981/
Fifth Ave Life featuring Andy Austin & Mason Dixon Line
- Saturday, October 20
- 4:00 – 7:30 pm
- LOCATION: 5th Avenue South in downtown St. Cloud, enter at the corner of 5th Ave & 1st St. or 5th Ave & W. St. Germain.
- COVER: $5 per person, per event. All ages welcome! Personnel will be checking IDs and wrist banding all attendees, regardless of age.
- REFRESHMENTS: Once wrist banded, attendees will be able to pass in and out of 5th Ave venues to purchase food and drinks.
- PARKING: Parking is FREE downtown every weekend and after 6 pm on weekdays. In addition to metered parking, the Lady Slipper Lot, Centre Square Ramp, Riverboat Lot, Mississippi Lot, River’s Edge West Ramp and the Convention Center Lot are all within two blocks of the concert. View all downtown St. Cloud parking options here: http://ci.stcloud.mn.us/700/Parking