CINCINNATI -- The lawn at Washington Park may only hold nightly spots for the 12,000 ticketholders to the LumenoCity performances, but thousands more are lining up outside the gates to take part in the one-of-a-kind spectacle.
Local businesses are looking to capitalize on the extra foot traffic by taking part in the LumenoCity Village , a collection of pop-up stands on the south end of the park where concertgoers can buy food and goods before and during the three Cincinnati Symphony shows (Aug. 1-3).
No ticket is required to enter the Village.
“Pretty much 50 to 60 percent of the people (here) didn't know that we even existed before tonight," said Kevin Loveless with the OTR pizzeria, Cincy By The Slice. "Not anymore."
Loveless said his booth has had a consistent line both of the first two nights of LumenoCity. He even had to run back to his Main Street home base on Saturday to get extra pies to satisfy the hungry crowd.
More than 40,000 people are expected to come into the area for the concerts, which is why there are more craftsman, artists and culinary masters taking part this year.
Last year's inaugural event was so popular that LumenoCity organizers decided to expand the Village in order to accommodate the needs of those in attendance.
Some of the other food vendors this year include eateries from around the city like Andy's Mediterranean Grille, Panino, Taste of Belgium , The Bonbonerie , The Phoenix , Urban Grill and Huit Craft BBQ .
There are also a handful of food trucks (C'est Cheese and Red Sesame Korean BBQ ), coffee shops (Coffee Emporium and 1215 Wine Bar & Coffee Lab), dessert places (Dojo Gelato and Graeter's) and other hip places to try.
LumenoCity is also a chance to help promote many of Music Hall's neighbors, even those that don't have stands at Washington Park.
“It’s great for business, great for the food (businesses), the community, the arts, everything. It's a great location for everything,” Loveless said.
Liz Godfroy, a local craftsman who set up shop with her friend Aly Stacy, said events like LumenoCity are important for small businesses. She credits it and monthly happenings like Final Friday, City Flea and Second Sunday for promoting the “shop local” mentality.
“I've noticed it's all these fresh faces and that's good for the city,” said Godfroy. “It's been a constant flow, for sure.”
The village opens Sunday at 11 a.m.