Ecton: Multitude of events is rejuvenating downtown Scottsdale

As a longtime proponent of and participant in events held in the downtown area, I have only one criticism: there are not enough events.

Until several years ago, I lived downtown – so I had firsthand experience of what events mean to the downtown area. They attract people, generate energy and help boost business.

Wayne Ecton

Events contribute to what is becoming an economic renaissance in an area of our city that not long ago was struggling.

Last month the 64th annual Parada del Sol took place downtown.

When I served on the city council for two terms, I actually rode in the parade with my colleagues. It was one of the events to which I looked forward to the most, because it gave me an opportunity to talk directly with people and make new friends.

When I lived downtown near the Museum of the West, my wife, Martha, and I could walk a couple of blocks to watch all the bands, horseback riders and community organizations march down Scottsdale Road. We had a blast.

This year I worked at the parade by handing out water and literature about our organization, the Downtown Scottsdale Economic Vitality Coalition. I met literally hundreds of people of all ages who had come out on a sunny Saturday morning to share in the parade’s festivities, including the “End of the Trail” event that featured bands playing different kinds of music, refreshment stands and vendors of all kinds.

The folks who produced the parade said more people had turned out than ever before.

Another significant event took place in the downtown area last week, Canal Convergence. It was the fifth year the event was staged in and around the canal that runs through the waterfront area.  It was spectacular.

Canal Convergence: Water + Art + Light was a collaboration between Scottsdale Public Art and the Salt River Project.  It was a four-day affair that has evolved into one of our city’s signature events. The creativity of many artists was on full display.

This totally unique presentation helped strengthen Scottsdale’s brand as the center of Arizona’s art and cultural activities.

Like the Parada del Sol Parade, Canal Convergence attracted people from far and wide, showcasing our downtown.

More events like these mean the more people we can bring downtown – and that will be a good thing for downtown businesses and a great thing for Scottsdale’s economy.

Editor’s Note: Wayne Ecton is a former two-term city councilman and a member of the Downtown Scottsdale Economic Vitality Coalition.

Don Chiappetti, on right, with Wayne Ecton.

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