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'It's absolutely booming right now': As the Georgia National Fair grows, so does the city of Perry

From new bars and restaurants and event venues, some business owners say downtown Perry is turning into an entertainment district.

PERRY, Ga. — Every year, the Georgia National Fair brings in new rides, vendors, and foods, but if you go just outside the fairgrounds, the city of Perry keeps bringing in businesses and attractions all year long.

Main Street Bar scooped up its spot in downtown Perry nearly a year ago.

"There's more reason than ever to come to Perry. It's absolutely booming right now," says General Manager Zachary Bibbins.

"They're really revitalizing the downtown area too. The few new businesses, restaurants, bar obviously, are kind of turning it into an entertainment district, where in the past it was more of a boutique type district."

They aren't the only ones benefitting from the boom in Perry.

"We're going to do things like etouffee, gumbo, and crawfish dip," says Scott Sanders, General Manager of the up-and-coming Orleans on Carroll restaurant.

"We want everyone to come out, have a good time. We're really excited about people trying the food. There's nothing that I'm aware of like this around here anywhere."

He says they plan to open their doors in mid-October.

In the meantime, Perry's Downtown Manager Alicia Hartley says there are plenty of places to check out.

"Oliver Perry's opened in March, then we had Weatherly Gray Boutique open later this spring," she says. "Just recently, we has Sole Shoe Company have their ribbon cutting."

She says they're also seeing a lot of success with events like Food Truck Friday, the International Festival, and community yoga.

"Anything from our downtown wine tasting that we have catered to adults and girls nights to the family-friendly events. It takes a whole team to make sure everyone feels included."

Hartley says last year, Perry issued or renewed 836 business licenses. They've already surpassed that by nearly 40 this year.

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