AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - If you drove through downtown Amarillo Friday night, you might have noticed some life in the new Embassy Suites Hotel.
But it's not open to the public yet.
Center City of Amarillo hosted the hotel's first ever event on Friday, the fundraising party leading up to the second annual Create! art festival downtown.
Construction is not complete yet, but the hotel lobby was open and ready to hosts hundreds.
"They're getting to see some of the fabulous features of this hotel, and it's all to raise money for Center City of Amarillo and the Amarillo Cultural District," said Beth Duke, Executive Director of Center City of Amarillo. "We're so proud this [hotel] is right in the heart of the cultural district and we think it's going to be a great addition to the things we offer downtown. We are sold out, it's fabulous. We hope to raise about $20,000."
That will be done through ticket sales to attend the party and a silent auction.
Collectively known as Create! this event is taking the place of what was formerly Center City's biggest fundraiser: the Center City Block Party.
Create! took the block party's place last year as a way to jump start the Amarillo Cultural District.
Duke said Create! is catching up to the block party in terms of fundraising.
"The block party had been going for 20 years as an outdoor event," she said. "It was very dependent on the weather. So some years we did much better than [$20,000] and some years we didn't, so we decided to retire it. I hope to bring back the block party when we get our new [baseball] stadium built."
Saturday's public art festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the grounds of the Downtown Public Library and Globe News Performing Arts Center.
Crafts, artists, food vendors, live music and more will all make up free family fun downtown.
People planning to attend Create! can park for free in the new downtown parking garage.