Partygoers participate in the volleyball tournament at the second annual Iowa City Downtown District Block Party on Saturday, June 23. The event, which allowed open containers in select downtown areas, attracted thousands of attendees. (Matthew Finley/The Daily Iowan)

Downtown Block Party brings 42,000 attendees in second year

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An estimated 42,000 people attended Saturday’s Downtown Block Party, up nearly 50 percent from last year’s inaugural event.

No final tallies are in yet for total cups sold, which were for sale for $10 to $11 each and allowed attendees to drink beer and wine on the streets within the event.

“100 percent of the money spent downtown stayed downtown,” Iowa City Downtown District director of operations Betsy Potter said. “The big economic impact is 42,000 people were eating, drinking, and spending money at 100 percent our downtown businesses.”

Brian Flynn, owner of Joe’s Place, said the impact to his business was far greater than it would have been on an ordinary Saturday night in Iowa City. He also felt a greater impact to the bar this year than last year, which saw 30,000 attendees, he said, because of the addition of a rooftop patio at Joe’s Place. With more people downtown, people who had not experienced the rooftop yet had the opportunity to do so, he said.

“It was obviously a good day to a be a business in Iowa City,” Flynn said. “It was very common to football season kind of atmosphere.”

RELATED: Downtown block party comes roaring back to Iowa City

Although construction blocking off much of the Pedestrian Mall inconvenienced this year’s event, Potter said, the party was still a success, which gives her hope for when a similar event takes place later this summer when RAGBRAI comes through Iowa City on July 27.

RELATED: Iowa City RAGBRAI reveals plans, theme

— Katelyn Weisbrod

Partygoers walk and listen to music during the Iowa City Downtown District Block Party on Saturday June 23, 2018. The 2nd annual event during which open containers were allowed in a select portion of downtown attracted thousands of guests and featured a variety of activities and performances. (Nick Rohlman/The Daily Iowan)
A partygoer plays pool in the street at the second annual Iowa City Downtown District Block Party on Saturday, June 23, 2018. The event, which allowed open containers in select downtown areas, attracted thousands of attendees. (Matthew Finley/The Daily Iowan)
An artist paints a portrait of Hayden Fry during a "Live Painting" demonstration during the Iowa City Downtown District Block Party on Saturday June 23, 2018. The 2nd annual event during which open containers were allowed in a select portion of downtown attracted thousands of guests and featured a variety of activities and performances. (Nick Rohlman/The Daily Iowan)
Partygoers watch a performer during the drag show put on by Studio 13 during the second annual Iowa City Downtown District Block Party on Saturday, June 23, 2018. The event, which allowed open containers in select downtown areas, attracted thousands of attendees. (Matthew Finley/The Daily Iowan)
Partygoers participate in the second annual Iowa City Downtown District Block Party on Saturday, June 23, 2018. The event, which allowed open containers in select downtown areas, attracted thousands of attendees. (Matthew Finley/The Daily Iowan)
Partygoers play sand volleyball during the Iowa City Downtown District Block Party on Saturday June 23, 2018. The 2nd annual event during which open containers were allowed in a select portion of downtown attracted thousands of guests and featured a variety of activities and performances. (Nick Rohlman/The Daily Iowan)
A child plays with bubbles during the block party. (Paxton Corey/The Daily Iowan)
A bartender pours a beer into an approved drinking vessel during the Iowa City Downtown District Block Party on Saturday June 23, 2018. The 2nd annual event during which open containers were allowed in a select portion of downtown attracted thousands of guests and featured a variety of activities and performances. (Nick Rohlman/The Daily Iowan)
Partygoers watch a movie projected in the ally behind The Film Scene during the Iowa City Downtown District Block Party on Saturday June 23, 2018. The 2nd annual event during which open containers were allowed in a select portion of downtown attracted thousands of guests and featured a variety of activities and performances. (Nick Rohlman/The Daily Iowan)
Mimi Ke, an aerial silks instructor at National Dance Academy, performs as part of the circus-themed fashion show at the second annual Iowa City Downtown District Block Party on Saturday, June 23, 2018. The event, which allowed open containers in select downtown areas, attracted thousands of attendees. (Matthew Finley/The Daily Iowan)
Partygoers dance during the Iowa City Downtown District Block Party on Saturday June 23, 2018. The 2nd annual event during which open containers were allowed in a select portion of downtown attracted thousands of guests and featured a variety of activities and performances. (Nick Rohlman/The Daily Iowan)
Partygoers dance to a performance by Flint Eastwood during the Iowa City Downtown District Block Party on Saturday June 23, 2018. The 2nd annual event during which open containers were allowed in a select portion of downtown attracted thousands of guests and featured a variety of activities and performances. (Nick Rohlman/The Daily Iowan)

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