Fundraising gala to help pay for projects coming up this month; arts festival set in April
"We’re trying to keep Cedar Springs clean and beautiful," said Scott Whittall, co-owner of Buli CafÃ© and president of the Cedar Springs Merchants Association, on why the CSMA has planned a fundraiser for March 19. "We’ve already spent quite a bit on sidewalks."
He said the landlords and merchants paid for the improvements following approval by the city.
The next addition to the streetscape, Whittall said, will be new trash receptacles. He said a number of them are already on order. He described them as heavy commercial pieces made of solid steel with a powder-coated finish and ashtrays attached.
He said the biggest problem in keeping the street clean is cigarette butts and cups. He added there wasn’t any place to dispose of butts and not enough receptacles for other trash. The merchants, rather than the city, will maintain and empty the new bins.
In addition, the organization is working with the city on special signage and additional benches.
"We have grand ideas, like gateway arches and cobblestones," Whittall said, "And turning Throckmorton into a pedestrian mall."
He said a trolley on Cedar Springs, like the current M line extension that’s planned to the Bishop Arts District in Oak Cliff, is an ultimate goal.
Participation in the Merchants Association among business owners on Cedar Springs includes all of the bars and most of the restaurants and shops, including the national chains like Walgreens and Black Eyed Pea.
In addition to street beautification, Whittall said more events are planned for Cedar Springs through the year.
"The art festival in April will be bigger than ever, with 100 artists and beer and food vendors on the street," he said.
The festival will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 24. Whittall said the idea is to bring people back to the Crossroads during the day. The street will be closed to traffic from the firehouse to Throckmorton Street.
To help fund some of the current beautification plans, the Merchant’s Association will hold its third Cedar Springs Beautification Benefit and Gala at the Round-Up Saloon on Friday, March 19.
The event will feature a raffle for a $1,000 Cedar Springs shopping spree, a live model underwear auction and a silent merchandise auction.
Admission is free, but 15 VIP tables are available for $100 apiece.
The VIP tables seat four people and include a pre-auction reception with hors d’oeuvres and champagne. The VIP auction begins at 5:30 p.m., and the general auction begins at 6:30 p.m.
"We’re still looking for auction items," Whittall said. "Sports tickets do well, liquor items, art, gift baskets. Restaurant certificates always bring in more than their face value."
He said potential donors may contact him at Buli Cafe.
More information at shopcedarsprings.com.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 12, 2010.