In Partnership with the Southern Weekend

Mid City West Fest: The first, four-day festival of its kind in Mid City to happen first week of April

Electric Depot, The Market at Circa 1857 and Mid City Baton Rouge prepare to host a brand new four-day festival in — you guessed it — Mid City, Baton Rouge. Local businesses, artists and nonprofits join forces to bring the first festival of its kind to the area. Mid City West Fest is meant to bring attention to the historic beginnings on the west of Park Boulevard and celebrate the area’s revitalization. 

The four-day festival happens April 1-4, 2020. Each day highlights a different local business in the immediate area. 

Mid City West Fest to happen April 1-4. Photo courtesy of Mid City West Fest / Facebook.

It begins on Wednesday, April 1 with the Food Truck(ish) Roundup from 5-8 p.m. Guests can enjoy food and an open bar from multiple food trucks at Alford Safe and Lock. On Thursday, the Market at Circa 1857 throws its 4th Annual Champarty with unlimited champagne. Live music performs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Day three of the fest is all about shopping the local retail. Sip & Shop happens 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Cajun Electric & Lighting for guests to shop multiple vendors and enjoy free rosé. Finally, the brand new festival closes on Saturday, April 4 with live music all day at the Electric Depot. 

Tickets are on sale now. One $20 ticket grants a visitor access to all four events over the four days. 

See also: Visit a piece of Baton Rouge’s 1920s history at Circa 1857

The area being deemed as Mid City West is the section of Government Street between North 19th Street, also known as Park Boulevard, and the train tracks. Marlee Pittman, who is the Director of the Electric Depot and organizer of the Mid City West Fest, explained that this area was once the Red Light District for Baton Rouge and, then, the warehouse district for an industrial port city. 

“These three blocks of Government Street, just like the historic buildings that call it home, are often forgotten,” said Pittman. “We want to change that. We want to give our corridor a name, and with that, an identity – Mid City West.”

Twinkle lights and the community light up Circa 1857’s courtyard at the annual Champarty. Photo courtesy of Mid City West Fest / Facebook.

And to help create that identity, the new Mid City West Fest brings together seemingly unrelated local businesses – a jeweler, a lighting company, a locksmith, a marketing firm, a historic preservation project, a boutique, and an antique store — for a common goal. According to Pittman, that goal is to re-energize the area’s sense of community. 

“We love that we’re the part of Baton Rouge that connects two of our most exciting spots, Mid City and Downtown. We’re even more excited, though, by the prospect of new life and a renewed sense of community,” added Pittman. 

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She said these diverse local businesses are bringing life and commerce back to dilapidated structures. Pittman also noted that the area’s physical layout plays a significant role in it’s rebirth. She described Mid City West’s design as the the old main street market style, where buildings are set close to sidewalks, within walking distance of each other and near parking and residential housing. Plus, bike paths are soon-to-be, once the Government Street road construction is completed.  

“We think this means Mid City West can be a block that represents everything the Mid City community is working hard to achieve – walk-ability, bike-ability, and affordability with priority given to the preservation of historic structures, mixed-use design, and opportunities to celebrate art,” said Pittman. 

See also: Live music, unique art market at 4th Ebb & Flow Festival set for April 4-5, 2020

Learn more about Mid City West Fest on their website. You can also follow their Facebook page.