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People pack 6th Street for the 48th Pecan Street Festival

Almost 50 years later, people are still flocking to Sixth Street for an Austin original event.

AUSTIN, Texas — It's been almost 50 years since the first ever Pecan Street Festival in the Sixth Street Historic District. But despite all the change the city has seen, the festival is still an Austin original.

The event is named after Pecan Street, which is now known as Sixth Street. With more than 300 artists, it's become one of the largest and longest-running arts and crafts festivals in the nation.

Some artists like Ross De La Garza started coming to the festival very early on.

"It was probably about '93 or so," said De La Garza, Primordial Persuasions.

He said it's still the same Sixth Street he's known, just evolved.

"Austin downtown is not like it was, you know, in the '80s," De La Garza said. "So there's a lot of new energy and people that are coming in that are still making it a really, you know, great place to be."

People like Donna Ortiz and her family who have been coming to the festival since 2000 are what keep the event going.

"We just love the vendors, the art, everything," Ortiz said.

Pecan Street Festival event organizer Luis Zapata said there is more to the festival than just the vendors, music and food.

"The most important part of the festival is the people themselves who come here, show after show,” Zapata said.

He said the festival gives the city a chance to celebrate Austin together.

"We all get together here, you know, from different walks of life and we interact together and hopefully that will help us be a stronger community," he said.

Even though the city grows every day, the core of Austin's culture remains the same with events like these.

Melia Masumoto on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram  

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