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A big turnout crowds Roswell's Canton Street for Alive After 5
by James Swift
jswift@neighbornewspapers.com
June 27, 2014 12:30 PM | 1576 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The heat did not stop shoppers, diners and revelers from crowding Canton Street last week.

The date marked this year’s third Alive After 5 event, as hundreds of residents and out-of-towners flocked to Roswell’s most happening district for some afterhours fun.

Started in 2007, Alive After 5 has been a Roswell ritual for eight years running.

City of Roswell Community Relations Coordinator Karen Zitomer has been to every event this year. “This is something the community looks forward to,” she said. “They plan their week around it.”

She said the event is an excellent way for businesses to engage with Roswell residents.

“There’s a wonderful atmosphere every month,” Zitomer said. “It really, I think, encapsulates the spirit of the city.”

Canton Street is roped off during the event. For the festivities, many merchants, restaurants and retailers keep their businesses open late.

Street performer Yekaterina Shneyderova said she’s been to almost every event over the last five years. “This is when we all come out and everybody enjoys each other’s company,” she said.

Dan Garrett, Journey Christian Church pastor, said the event isn’t just a hotspot for locals. “People from all over metro come to this, so that’s pretty cool,” he said. He said his favorite aspect of the event is talking to fellow attendees.

Despite the high temperatures, Michael Hitt attended the event wearing a wool Union Army. A patrol officer by day, he donned the apparel to promote an upcoming sesquicentennial event.

“If you have a table out here, people look and keep walking,” he said. “I found it’s better if you wear the table.”

Hitt said he loves the small town atmosphere of Canton Street. “It gives you the feeling you’re in Mayberry,” he said. “If you took it anywhere else in Roswell, it wouldn’t work.”

During the festivities, members of the Rotary Club of Roswell assembled for a flash mob performance of Pharell Williams’ “Happy.” As traffic was still flowing through Canton Street, police broke up the impromptu routine.

“We started a little early and the street wasn’t closed,” said Gordon Owens, the club’s incoming public relations director. “The police ran us off halfway through it, but we were able to finish strong.”

As Owens lives nearby, he said he sometimes considers foregoing the monthly event. Its appeal however, inevitably draws him to Canton Street.

“I can come up here any night of the week, and it’s not crowded,” he said. “But on the other hand, on any given night of the week, it’s not nearly as much fun.”

April through October, Alive After 5 is held the third Thursday of each month. Maps, vendor information and more can be found at www.aliveafterfiveroswell.com.

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