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Beach Bash joining Spring Chicken Festival in moving from Gainesville square
Event relocating to Lake Lanier Olympic Park
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A crowd gathers Friday, July 7, 2017, at the "beach'" in downtown Gainesville made from 100 tons of sand during the third annual Beach Bash in downtown Gainesville. The beach bash is being moved to the Lake Lanier Olympic Park in 2019. - photo by David Barnes

Like the Gainesville Spring Chicken Festival, the city’s Beach Bash will move to a new location this year.

Nikki Perry, City of Gainesville’s communications and tourism director, said instead of its usual location in downtown, the event will be held at Lake Lanier Olympic Park.

She said the Gainesville Convention and Visitors Bureau made the decision because of the approaching Parkside on the Square condominium development.

“Our city events are outgrowing the space we have available downtown and the loss of parking lot presented a challenge,” Perry said. “Luckily we have a whole city full of wonderful park spaces. We’re looking at this as an opportunity to take advantage of other city assets.”

The Beach Bash will take place on Saturday, July 13.

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Attendees gather on Saturday, April 28, 2018, during the 14th Annual Spring Chicken Festival in downtown Gainesville. - photo by David Barnes

To make up for downtown Gainesville’s loss of the Spring Chicken Festival and the Beach Bash, the city will hold two additional First Friday events this year on July 5 and Sept. 6,

Perry said the Jingle Mingle, Mutts on Main, Mule Camp Market Festival and Farmer’s Market will still remain in downtown Gainesville.

To figure out which events were most beneficial to downtown businesses, Main Street Gainesville conducted an online survey among the business owners.

“Mule Camp Market Festival, Jingle Mingle and First Fridays were consistently rated as most beneficial to the businesses,” Perry said. “Consequently, we are moving Jingle Mingle from a Thursday to a Saturday, to attract a larger crowd.”

She said thanks to a new partnership with the University of Georgia’s Small Business Development Center, Main Street Gainesville will offer classes for small businesses to assist in maximizing foot traffic during downtown events.

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