Businesses reap the benefits of the NEON Festival

The third annual Neon Fest only lasts two days, but the attention it brings to the neighborhood will last for years to come.

NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- The third annual Neon Fest only lasted two days, but the attention it brought to the neighborhood will last for years to come.

Prince Ink Company is typically screen printing t-shirts in the back of their store but on Friday they brought the process outside  for the whole public to see.

They say Neon Fest is the best advertisement you can ask for if you work in the Neon District.

"It's good to bring exposure to our business itself, but also show a little bit of our process and how we do what we do,” said Matthew Wallace with Prince Ink.

Push was offering free comedy shows throughout the evening.

"In previous years we've had 500, 600, 700 people come through these doors during this time,” said Ed Carden with Push.

They say the key is attracting a whole new customer base who will return throughout the year.

"A lot of people don't know this type of thing is happening in the area and we want as many people to come and experience and enjoy it as much as we can,” said Carden.

Next door, Commune combines art with dining all in the same room. The owner of the building wants people to know Neon Fest isn't just a festival, it's a life style.

"This is the cool, hip, younger, fun, cultural center and Neon Fest helps expose a lot of the businesses to folks who may not even know that this even exists,” said Brother Rutter.

Neon Fest says every year they add more artists and pop up art galleries in hopes some of them retain permanent residency, growing the district every year.

"And that's what its designed to do to really showcase the neighborhood for one weekend and get people to come back regularly,” said event organizer Rachel Maccall

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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