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      Center City's Block Party helps revamp downtown

      Neon Amarillo sign for Amarillo National Bank

      The Center City of Amarillo will host its annual Block Party from 4 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, Aug. 16 along Polk Street from Seventh Avenue to Fourth Avenue. The event will begin with a Center City Car Show and Shine sponsored by Gene Messer Ford and taking place in the parking lot of the Amarillo National Bank from 4 to 8:30 pm. The show will be organized by the Panhandle Mustang Club.

      But the event is more than just a good time. It??s a good cause.

      The Center City of Amarillo Inc. is dedicated to the revitalization and beautification of downtown Amarillo. Through various projects, like faade grants or building restoration, the group works to preserve the history of downtown and remind residents of Amarillo??s original architectural beauty.

      ??Polk street has some of our most historical buildings, several are on the national register, and many more are eligible. So we feel a real stewardship in saving these building and bringing them back to life,?? said Beth Duke, Executive Director of Center City Amarillo.

      The Block Party is the Center City??s largest fundraiser and this year??s goal is $60,000. More than 200 volunteers help put the event together, from selling tickets to selling sponsorships or manning the four different stages for the 22 bands and musicians.

      ??The importance of holding the center city block party is to bring money in for downtown Amarillo,?? said Brenda Graham, co-chairman and entertainment chairman for the center city block party. ??If you??ve come downtown lately, you??ll notice all that we??ve done to make downtown a beautiful place.??

      Graham has been involved with the City Center Block Party for the past 15 years and said she keeps coming back because of all that City Center does for the community and the improvements she??s seen over the years.

      Entry for the car show is $30, which includes two admission tickets to the Block Party and a souvenir dashboard plaque. Tickets for the Block Party are $10 in advance and $15 at the gate.