Westobou contributes to Augusta's busy fall season

Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019
News 12 at 6 O'Clock

This year's Westobou Festival is yet another event in a string of downtown happenings. (Source: WRDW/WAGT)

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- If it feels like we've had a lot of really big events lately, you're not imagining it. First Arts in the Heart, then the Ironman Triathlon, and now the Westobou Festival. Not to mention, Border Bash is right around the corner.

Westobou is a five-day event that features art, music, dance, poetry, yoga, games, and food. For the first time, this year's festival will be located at 11th Street and Broad Street instead of Augusta Common.

"The art season in Augusta is really happening in the fall. It sort of launches in the fall with Arts in the Heart and there are so many other things happening," said Westobou Executive Director Kristi Jilson.

Jilson says it's not a coincidence all of these festivals happen around the same time.

"It made the most sense to make it shortly after Arts in the Heart and to continue that art season," she said.

Jennifer Bowen is the Vice President of Destination Development for Visit Augusta, and says scheduling back-to-back events is actually a strategic business move.

"If you can build on something else that is nearby in your date, then that also helps to generate buzz and that might also help a little in attendance as well," she said.

And with every year that passes, each festival continues to grow in size.

"Westobou I believe estimated that last year, they would have 12,000 people and they're estimating this year that is should be around 13,000," said Bowen.

The festivals are symbolic of Augusta's growing interest in the arts.

"All of these things are really adding up so what was very vibrant already is just increasing so. And people are just becoming more and more aware of it," said Bowen.

And aside from the positive business aspect, it gives us all a little something extra to do on the weekend.

"It's just a beautiful time of year to be outside and explore our city and celebrate the arts," said Jilson.

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