Casper’s downtown grew and evolved in 2017, and the city plans to keep that momentum going in 2018.

Hundreds gathered at the David Street Station in August to celebrate the public plaza’s official opening. The complex offers an outdoor stage and recreational spaces, but the opening ceremony only marked the completion of the project’s first phase.

The station will be expanding this year to include a splash pad, restrooms, an area for vendors and an observation deck, according to the Downtown Development Authority.

One of downtown’s main roadways is also scheduled to receive a makeover in 2018.

Renovations on Midwest Avenue will begin early in the year, Community Development Director Liz Becher previously told the Star-Tribune. The city will be adding street lights, widening the sidewalks and moving the electrical wiring underground.

“We’re going to totally reconstruct it, just like we did with West Yellowstone,” she explained. “We’ll have park benches and bike racks, and at the corners we’ll have planters with trees and flowers.”

Casper will also be getting a couple new businesses.

Two local entrepreneurs recently won bids to buy city property to house apartments and an apparel company along Ash Street north of Midwest Avenue.

New festivals may also be coming to the downtown area.

After the Wyoming Eclipse Festival went off without a hitch in August, Casper City Councilmember Kenyne Humphrey told the Star-Tribune that council members are “definitely” interested in holding other large-scale events.

Thousands came to the eclipse festival, which featured dozens of vendors, street performers, musicians and food trucks situated in the heart of downtown.

“It was perfect,” said Humphrey, who served as mayor in 2017. “I don’t think it could have gone any better.”

Given that she only heard positive feedback from visitors, Humphrey explained that she thinks the festival may also lead to an overall boost in tourism for Casper.

Katie King covers the city of Casper.

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