Downtown was hopping as visitors came to the Par 3 Party at Augusta Common. (April 6, 2011 / WRDW-TV)
News 12 at 11 o'clock / Wednesday, April 6, 2011
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Wednesday at the Masters is known for the Par 3 contest, but the after party was Downtown at the Augusta Common.
The Par 3 Party put on by the Augusta Arts Council is just one of many ways locals are trying to get visitors to get a look at downtown.
When there's music, there's dancing, but at the Par 3 Party, there was shagging.
"I have a fake shag I kind of do," Brenda Durant, the coordinator of the event, said. "I'm from Camden, South Carolina. I have kind of a 1-2-3, look bored, kind of thing."
Therefore, we found out shagging isn't Durant's kind of thing, but she said putting on this party is.
"I mean the whole Downtown, Broad street, Reynolds street, museums and theater, we're the cultural carter here. You want people to see what a great downtown we have," Durant said.
Businesses want people to see it too, so they've brought in bands of their own and some have opened extra hours.
"It's not normal for us to be open on Wednesday, but because of the Master's effect," Casa Blanca Cafe employee, Steven Deitch said. "We have an opportunity to be open on a Wednesday night and be open to more business."
Some even have Master's menu's for the extra visitors.
"We've got so many up and coming new businesses so I think it's great that we have more traffic," Beamie's at the River's Tracy Williams said.
But some business owners say only in the past couple of years have they benefited from an extra push to get people downtown.
"I think it's long over due," Deitch said. "There's a lot of gems down here."
"We've always had a busier week obviously," Williams said. "But of course more so lately that we have the Augusta Common over here and all. It definitely brings more down."
In that case, keep on dancing.
"I love the Par 3 Party," Durant said. "It's just a beautiful night under the stars."
They barely pre-sold 50 tickets in the party's first year and this year, they pre-sold more than 300 tickets, which is much better than last year. They hope that means they'll make it even bigger next year.