By Brittany Llorente
STUART - When people start dancing in the streets of downtown Stuart, it symbolizes the end of summer and a celebration that started 25 years ago.
The Dancin' in the Streets celebration will take over the streets of downtown Stuart Saturday, Aug. 25 from 6 p.m. to midnight.
Last year, the celebration brought nearly 8,000 people to the downtown area.
The event that started in 1987 features four stages of live music, bands, street performers, vendors, a skate ramp and more.
Every year, the dreams of those founding members, who saw a struggling downtown and fought to bring it back to life, is reborn.
Annie MacMillian, one of the founding Stuart Main Street members, is the committee chairwoman for this year's event.
"As we were cleaning up the next, day a young man drove by and shouted 'great party, lady,'" Ms. MacMillian said in a press release. "Then he asked if we were going to do it again the next year."
Rachael Snyder is the event coordinator for Dancin' in the Street, owns a business in downtown Stuart and sits on the Stuart Main Street and Stuart Downtown Business Association. She has volunteered at the past events and says that she has downtown pride.
"Dancing in the Streets is the best way to explain it because that is really what it is," she said. "It is very kid-friendly during the day with a skate ramp and activities including bounce houses and face painters. From 9 p.m. to midnight it is a street party for those people ages 21 and over. This year we have a lot of national tribute bands."
The live performances will include Alter Egos, Live Bait, Earthbound Misfits, Ramble On, Livin' on a Prayer and Never Stop Believing, all tribute acts for artists such as the Eagles, Jimmy Buffet and Pink Floyd.
The feel-good time of the event is boosted by the help given to those in need, as the event is one of Stuart Main Street's largest fundraisers.
"It is our main event, fundraising or otherwise, for the year," Ms. Snyder said. "We work very hard on it all year-round."
Proceeds from the event support the other various Main Street events during the year, such as the Christmas parade and the fireworks shown every Fourth of July, as well as business ventures such as advertising and marketing campaigns to boost business in the downtown area.
Tickets to the event are $10 and children 5 and under are free.
For more information, contact Rachel Snyder at (772) 370-2030.