Rosa Cavazos: Planting the seed for year-round events

Rosa Cavazos and Michaela Saunders, with Visit Topeka, are involved with developing downtown festivals and plaza programming. (Thad Allton/The Capital-Journal)

Rosa Cavazos foresees year-round events coming to fruition downtown.

 

Several recent festivals have drawn thousands of people and illustrated downtown’s potential as a place for locals and visitors to come together.

“The Kansas Chocolate Festival was absolutely huge downtown,” Cavazos said. More than 10,000 people attended the September 2016 festival.

The collaboration between Visit Topeka and Mars Chocolate North America was two years in the making, Cavazos said, and plans are in the works to add a “Chocolate After Dark” event.

“I am planting the seeds for events and festivals to take place in the public plaza. I am hoping our community will see that we can have a variety of events all year long,” the Topeka High School graduate said. “We just need to work within our climate and use it to our advantage.”

In December 2016, Visit Topeka hosted WinterFest, featuring ice sculptures, food trucks and kids’ activities. Cavazos hopes to build on events such as WinterFest and is already seeing programming such as Cyclovia expand.

Cavazos said she’s energized about plans for the plaza, which will provide a space for special events and everyday gathering.

“With the addition of the public plaza, I see our community coming together to eat, listen to music, see plays, art, exercise and just be a part of our downtown,” Cavazos said. “It is exciting.”

Name: Rosa Cavazos

Profession: director of tourism development with Visit Topeka

 

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