Saturday night: Buckham Alley Fest to showcase downtown Flint’s creativity

Tracy Brewington, left, and Chris Everson pictured in Buckham Alley in downtown Flint. The pair has laid the groundwork for Flint’s newest summertime event: Buckham Alley Fest. The arts-oriented festival will be held in Buckham Alley on Saturday night from 6 p.m. to midnight. The event is free and open to the public. (Photo by Jared Field)

FLINT, Michigan – Chris Everson is the Johnny Cash of urbanites – he’s been everywhere. As a tour manager for numerous bands, Everson criss-crossed the United States, Canada and even made stops in Western Europe before settling, loft-style, in downtown Flint. In those few free moments on tour between solving logistical problems at venues and reassuring temperamental frontmen, Everson took stock of his surroundings.

“I’ve traveled all over the place with bands,” said Everson, who daylights as the office manager at the Downtown Development Authority in Flint. “I’ve seen what other cities have to offer and I want to bring some of those things to Flint.”

Great events, it seems, is one of those things.

Here’s your introduction to Flint’s newest downtown event: An organic, arts-oriented, music-scene showcasing cornucopia of creativity. If you’re into the whole brevity thing, call it Buckham Alley Fest.

The Birth of BAF

It’s no surprise that the brainstorm than precipitated the birth of Buckham Alley Fest was localized due west of the bricks of South Saginaw Street. Arguably downtown Flint’s most iconic pub, The Torch, has probably been the informal launching pad for many great ideas in the city over the years. It was at the Torch, the center of gravity of downtown’s most famous alley, that Everson and Tracy Brewington began laying the foundation for an alley fest fit for Flint.

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Photo of the Day: ‘Mr. Flint’ (Chris Everson) at the Lunch Studio

The staff of the Flint Area CVB had its farewell lunch for Chris Everson today at The Lunch Studio in downtown Flint. Chris, who worked in the events department at the CVB, has taken a position with the Downtown Development Authority in Flint. He starts Monday.

Trust me when I say there’s not a more dynamic, loyal supporter of Flint than Chris. During his time at the CVB, Chris helped guide two major events through exponential growth: Back to the Bricks and Bikes on the Bricks. He has also provided great support to one of downtown Flint’s newest events, Le Champion Pave.

Chris is involved in numerous civic groups around town including the Downtown Flint Neighborhood Association, Flint Local 432, The Flint Film Festival, Buckham Alley Fest and more. He’s also a recent graduate of the Leadership Genesee program.

Chris is a great friend of the city and to everyone on our staff. We wish him the best of everything.

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling, Chris Everson, speak to Flint Club about cultivating great neighborhoods

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling spoke to the Flint Club on Friday morning at Hoffman's Deco Deli in downtown Flint. (Jared Field | Flint on Full)

FLINT, Michigan — It’s something that can be hard to describe, but you always know it when you see it: Community. This morning at Hoffman’s Deco Deli in downtown Flint, Mayor Dayne Walling and Chris Everson, president of the Downtown Flint Neighborhood Association, spoke about the incredible growth of the downtown neighborhood.

“This is the fastest-growing neighborhood in Genesee County,” Walling said. “And you could probably go even farther than that…to Saginaw…Lansing…Port Huron and even into northern Oakland County.”

Walling talked about numerous factors that have led to the influx of life into downtown, but said ultimately it’s about people getting involved, staying involved and being proactive proponents of their community.

By any measure, there’s been so much life injected into downtown Flint in recent years that it could scarcely be more different than its former self.

Chris Everson, president of the Downtown Neighborhood Association, spoke to the Flint Club on Friday morning about the growth of the downtown neighborhood.

Everson, who has been involved in the resurgence of downtown since its early days, talked about how changes happen at the street level.

“I was born and raised in Flint and I love it here,” said Everson, who lives in one of Flint’s downtown lofts. “To me, it’s home. For years I traveled alot, but I’ve always felt a connection to this city. It means something to me. So much so that sometimes my wife doesn’t understand.”

Everson proceeded to talk about his early days in Flint and how he has seen firsthand the development of downtown Flint, not only from the economic standpoint but as a community not unlike his childhood when he had a porch and a lawn.

“This is or area, this is downtown … and I think more growth needs to spread from downtown,” he said. “I believe in where I live. It’s a good place to live. We have good neighbors here. I see this area growing more and more, bring more people in and doing some positive things. That’s how you make a neighborhood.”

Coming this summer: The first annual Buckham Alley Fest

Two stages. Ten live bands. One night.

The first annual Buckham Alley Fest is coming to downtown Flint this July 16 and you’re not going to want to miss it. It will be a free event featuring music and dance , handmade crafts, local artisans, street performers and more.

The event will be the culmination of several months of planning and is made possible by a partnership with Red Ink Flint, a local non-profit organization.

To support this first annual event, please contact Chris Everson:

Phone: 810.964.0616
E-mail: [email protected]

Mail sponsorships to:
Red Ink Flint
629 S. Saginaw Street, Flint, MI 48502

Booth space and sponsorships are still available.