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Sundance Square Transformed From NCAA To Main St. Arts Fest

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Joel Thomas
Joel is an Emmy Award winning journalist with more than 15 year...
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FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) – Sundance Square workers are breathing a sigh of relief after a massive, two-day makeover of Sundance Plaza. The deadline was set for the morning of Thursday, April 10 – opening day for Fort Worth’s Main Street Arts Festival.

As late as Tuesday morning, crews were breaking down ESPN’s stage and a basketball court put up for coverage of the NCAA Final Four games the weekend before. Trucks loaded with arts festival equipment waited in the street as ESPN’s gear was loaded up and moved out.

“It was a little complicated with that changeover, because we were kind of pushing ESPN out a little quicker than they had planned to go, because we really needed to get them in here to start,” explained Sundance Square spokesperson Tracy Gilmour.

And with just two days to transform the plaza there was no room for error in the untested new Arts Festival venue.

Crews worked nearly around the clock putting up some 80 vendor spaces and building an awning over the stage.

There are more artists and fewer food vendors in the area now than the pre-plaza era.  The change caused some unexpected inconveniences bringing in artwork.

“It was a little bit tricky getting in, because we had to dolly in,” said artist Mychal Mitchell who’s had a booth at the festival for 15 years.  “But I’m close so it’s worth it.”

When asked what she is looking forward to this year Mitchell said, “This awesome plaza, which I’m really excited about [and] this beautiful fountain, which is almost putting me to sleep. It’s so delicious,” she laughed. “And the big canopies which is shaded. I love it!”

Planners mapped and remapped the layout of the plaza for months. They’re still not sure if the flow of foot traffic will be too bottlenecked. City officials will monitor those situations over the weekend.

But when you consider that two days ago the area that looked like this…

(credit: CBSDFW.COM)

(credit: CBSDFW.COM)

…now it looks like this, Sundance Plaza workers are pleased.

 

(credit: CBSDFW.COM)

(credit: CBSDFW.COM)

“When you set up for the very first time there are always things that don’t quite fit like you envision them. But we’ve had very minimal of that happening,” Gilmour said. “To see it actually happen has been incredibly heartwarming. I can’t tell you… I almost get emotional because it’s been so fun.”

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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